The Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage is set to proceed as planned despite the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC).
Reverend Yakubu Pam, Executive Director of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, has assured pilgrims that the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip will not impact this year’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Speaking to the third group of pilgrims who arrived in Abuja on Monday, Rev. Pam confirmed that the first scheduled flight on Tuesday night will proceed as planned.
He further revealed that the Nigerian government, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NCPC, is closely monitoring the situation in Israel.
A final decision regarding the planned visit to Israel will be made after a three-day tour of holy sites in Jordan from the Old Testament era.
Rev. Pam expressed optimism, stating that while they have faith, they are not blindly entering the “lion’s den” like Daniel, as the Federal Government is in constant communication with Israeli authorities.
“A group of 70 Nigerian Christian Pilgrims has recently arrived in Israel today, with a batch from Lagos state returning on an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. The last batch for the year will depart on Tuesday night and arrive in Jordan the following morning. Thus far, there is no reason to be anxious as authorities in both Jordan and Israel are in contact with us.
For those who may be feeling anxious, it is important to note that the ongoing conflict is limited to Gaza in the southern part of Israel. The places that Christian pilgrims visit are located in the northern parts of Israel. We have maintained a clean record of no abscondment, and the pilgrims take the opportunity to collectively pray for Nigeria,” Pam stated.
He additionally announced that the Federal Government and authorities in both Israel and Jordan are now effectively addressing the issue of absconding pilgrims.
Reverend Pam emphasized that such problems are now very rare, and any suspicious behavior by a pilgrim results in immediate action.
Mr. Sunny Ude, the NCPC’s Director of Mobilization, encouraged all Christian Pilgrims to fervently pray for peace and progress in Nigeria throughout their nine-day visits to holy sites in Jordan and Israel.
He emphasized the importance of reflecting qualities like patriotism, forgiveness, and generosity.
Furthermore, Mr. Ude advised the intending pilgrims to embody these Christian virtues in their everyday lives, highlighting that expressing negative opinions about Nigeria or its government also exhibits a lack of respect for one’s family and the country’s collective future.