From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 2,500 Pilgrims have been successfully cleared by the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) to participate in the 2020 pilgrimage to Jordan.
Executive Secretary, NCPC, Rev. Yakubu Pam, disclosed the information at the special flag-off ceremony for the 2020 maiden pilgrimage exercise to Jordan held at the Pilgrim’s Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He said that second batch of Pilgrims airlifted to the Kingdom of Jordan for the 2020 pilgrimage exercise consists of Pilgrims from Ekiti, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue and Akwa-Ibom states.
He commended the Jordanian government for their coordination and warm reception given to the first batch of Pilgrims who arrived Jordan on 25th July, 2021.
He said: “I am overwhelmed with the presidential treatment we received during the brief and colorful airport reception in Amman”.
He added that the Jordanian Minister of Tourism, Nayef Al Fayez, described the visit as of paramount importance.
Rev. Pam, thus, expressed gratitude to the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, for their unrelenting support to the Commission and their constant attention to the needs of the Commission.
The SGF, in his remarks, said he was delighted to witness the official flag-off of the maiden pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Jordan.
The SGF who was represented by Dr. Maurice Mbaeri, commended the Executive Secretary of NCPC Rev. Yakubu Pam, for making the operation a reality within his one year in office.
Dr. Mbaeri, admonished the Pilgrims to see the opportunity as an avenue for spiritual rejuvenation and not for tourists attraction.
He urged them to pray to God to uphold Nigeria and also pray for peace to be restored in the country. “The theme for the 2020 Pilgrimage exercise to Jordan is ‘Pilgrimage for Peace and Development’ is very timely”.
He charged them to be good Ambassadors of the country. “I expect all Pilgrims to come back, I do not expect any record of abscondment”.
He reminded the Pilgrims that COVID-19 is real and admonished them to adhere to all the COVID-19 protocols here and in the Kingdom of Jordan in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.