By Polycarp Auta
Rev. Yakubu Pam, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), said the current crisis in Gaza is one of the reasons pilgrims from Nigeria will not go to Israel but to the Kingdom of Jordan on the pilgrimage. of this year.
Mr Ayuba Pam, special adviser on media and advertising to the executive secretary, said this in a statement to Jos on Saturday.
Pam said the executive secretary gave the explanation on Friday night on a live NTA broadcast to Jos.
Media said the NCPC boss said the Israeli government’s insistence that pilgrims have to take their own version of COVID-19 vaccines was another reason for the pilgrimage to Jordan.
He said Pam added that Jordan also had over 100 holy places for pilgrims to visit, insisting that this would not change the purpose of the spiritual exercise.
“Jordan has many holy places, just like Israel. There are more than 100 holy places all over the world and by the mandate given to the Commission by the Act of Paliarment of 2007 which established it, pilgrims can visit all these sites.
“But the decision to embark on the pilgrimage to Jordan was due to Israel’s insistence that Nigeria accept its version of the COVID-19 vaccination.
“In addition, the war in Gaza, which will pose security challenges for pilgrims, is another key reason.
“The purpose of the pilgrimage is to invoke the spirit of God on Nigeria and the people, not just tourism,” Pam said.
On why the pilgrims would be flown from Jos and not from Abuja, he said the decision was aimed at reducing the difficulties pilgrims faced in the past.
“The Christian Pilgrim Airlift from Jos to Jordan will reduce the difficulties faced by pilgrims in the past, who had to travel to Abuja under serious risk.
“The challenge pilgrims face in such operations traveling from afar to Abuja exposes them to dangers of insecurity and health problems,” Pam explained.
The executive secretary thanked the Plateau government for supporting the commission in ensuring that its plan to move pilgrims directly from Jos to Jordan becomes a reality.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the first batch of pilgrims will be airlifted on July 24 to Yakubu Gowon International Airport in Heipang, near Jos. (NOPE)
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