The Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) has commenced the screening of 368 intending pilgrims from Delta ahead of the trip to Israel and Jordan.
A statement by the commission’s Head, Media and Public Relations, Celestine Toruka, said that the screening commenced on Friday in Asaba.
The 368 intending pilgrims are being sponsored by the Delta Government.
The NCPC screening team was led by Deputy Director and Head of Special Duties Department, Pastor Raphael Oyinloye.
It is expected that those who scaled through the two-day screening would be travelling for the pilgrimage by the middle of January, 2023.
Mr Johnbull Edema, the state Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, thanked Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for sponsoring Christians to perform the pilgrimage twice in 2022.
He urged the intending pilgrims to provide correct information about themselves to avoid being disqualified by the NCPC.
“The previous pilgrimage was adjudged wonderful, therefore you should do better than the former one,” he added.
Edema further admonished them not to entertain any thought of abscondment, as they would be fished out and prosecuted.
In his exortation, Chairman, Delta Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Most Rev. Cyril Odutemu urged the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Christ and Nigeria in the Holy land.
He added,”as ambassadors of our country it will be so disgraceful if you bring shame to this state.”
The chairman said it would be an aberration for any intending pilgrim to go to the Holy land without interceding for Nigeria and the state.
“Nigeria needs prayers now, we need to pray to God in Israel to give us good leaders for this nation in the next dispensation,” Odutemu added.
He commended the state governor for sponsoring the pilgrims, in spite of the current economic situation in the country.
In his remarks, the state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Snr. Apostle Sylvanus Okorote advised the intending pilgrims to regard the exercise as a spiritual retreat.
He urged them to pray for the state and the success of the governor who facilitated the trip.
Also, Executive Secretary of the board, Apostle Samuel Okoh, advised the intending pilgrims to cooperate with the NCPC screening team by providing vital documents that would facilitate the screening process.