The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) says it will monitor pilgrims strictly while in the Holy Land to keep likely absconders in check.
Rev. Tor Uja, the NCPC Executive Secretary, disclosed this while addressing intending pilgrims at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday.
Uja said that security personnel from within Nigeria and in Israel had been trained and given proper orientation to stop absconders.
He said that the security personnel were also trained to be on alert at all times in case of threat to peace or dangers that might affect pilgrims.
“We have trained and given proper orientation to our security personnel; others are in the land of Israel and they are routinely doing a rekey.
“Wherever there is any threat to peace or shadow of danger, they will advise us and we will avoid going to such places.
“We have moved pilgrims completely from areas where there have been fires for two weeks so that no Nigerian is exposed to danger; no Nigerian is left unsecured.’’
According to Uja, the commission will set up a forum for prayer sharing and education for pilgrims while in the Holy Land.
He said the forum would make Christians go on pilgrimage and come back as better persons.
“It is time to build this country and to give it foundation; it is time to give this country a character; it is time to give this country a vision and a hope.
“It is time to make Nigerians to know that our land is a land of great opportunities.
“We have more opportunities in Nigeria than in America and in Israel.
“We have better land than anywhere else, what we are going to get is a revitalisation to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ afresh and to have a revamping of our spiritual lives.
Alh Mohammed Bello, the FCT Minister, described the trip to the Holy Land as a lifetime wish.
He urged intending pilgrims to pray for themselves and the country.
Bello commended Israel for making sure that Nigerian pilgrims were treated with respect and given their right as international travelers.
“The Israeli Government and the Nigerian Pilgrims Commission have done very well in terms of making sure that Nigerians are respected and given their rights as international travelers,’’ Bello said.
Sen. Philip Aduda, representing FCT, appealed to the intending pilgrims to behave well and be “the change the country wants.”
Aduda also urged them to defend the Holy Bible and the Nigerian flag while on the pilgrimage.