THE state government said that it has concluded plans to airlift the first batch of the 2022 General Pilgrimage to the holy land of Jerusalem from Sunday, 5th February, 2023.
Speaking at the service of dedication organised for the intending pilgrims at Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, on Thursday, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi preached strict adherence to all guidelines and laws guiding the Holy Pilgrimage.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Christian Religious Matters, Very Rev. Bukola Adeleke, underscored the need for the intending pilgrims to embrace tolerance, righteousness and all godly virtues usually attributed to the Holy journey.
He said: “I want to advise you as children of God to ‘Let your light so shine while in the Holy Land’ by being good ambassadors of the state and positively projecting the image of Nigeria among the comity of nations.”
Also addressing the intending pilgrims, the Board Secretary, the State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Yetunde Gbafe, revealed that the intending pilgrims travelling with the state government would be airlifted in two batches before and after the general elections.
While promising the intending pilgrims improved welfare packages and rich spiritual content, Gbafe pleaded with holy the land travellers to continue to be good representatives and ambassadors of the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Delivering a sermon at the Dedication Service, the Presiding Chaplain of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Venerable Ezekiel Oluwadare took his text from Phil. 3:13-15, told the intending pilgrims that it is scriptural for believers to be desirous of seeking in-depth knowledge about God through pilgrimage journey.
He likened believers to a Palm Tree that grows outwardly and inwardly, stressing that Christians are expected to grow physically and spiritually through a personal encounter with God.
On his part, the Head of Mobilisation, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Sunny Udeh, affirmed that the state is always remarkable with top-notch preparations for Holy Pilgrimage, urging the intending pilgrims to sustain the good image and reputation which the state is known for.
He told the intending pilgrims to travel light and take only items needed for a journey along in order to avoid being unnecessarily weighed down during the spiritual exercise.
While imploring the intending pilgrims to be prepared for true spiritual rebirth, Udeh maintained that Pilgrimage should not be seen as a license to heaven but a journey that re-enforces believers’ faith and allows Christians to know that Christianity is not a story but a reality.