Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State
17 Intending Pilgrims from Niger State in North Central Nigeria, have been denied Visas to Isreal for the Christian pilgrimage.
The leader of the Niger State Christian Pilgrims delegation to the 2020 pilgrimage, Pastor Yerima El’Yakim Samaila stated this on Wednesday at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Secretariat in Minna during the orientation of intending pilgrims to the Holy land.
The leader of the delegation did not however mentioned reasons for the visas denials.
About 171 intending pilgrims from Niger State will be airlifted from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja to the Holy Land on Thursday .
Pastor Yarima who encouraged private individuals to participate and also sponsor persons to participate in the spiritual exercise, mentioned that the Niger state Government is sponsoring about 31 intending Christian Pilgrims to the Holy land this year.
The Niger state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. (Dr) Mathias Echioda who said that pilgrimage is very important for every Christian explained that the spiritual exercise was very important, as it strengthens the faith of Christians.
Acting Director, Christian Department, Niger state Pilgrimage Welfare Board, Joanna Pada while admonishing intending pilgrims to remain disciplined warned that, “nobody should try to abscond because it brings embarrassment to Nigeria as a country“.
She said as part of its responsibilities to monitor the activities of pilgrims, the Board has met and brainstormed to ensure that adequate arrangement were made in terms of transportation, feeding and accommodation.
She further said the welfare and state of health of pilgrims are paramount as intending pilgrims would visit various religious sites.