By ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER, Abuja
THE Executive governor of Benue State Dr. Samuel Ortom at a special Day of Prayer for Benue State and the launch of Win a Trip to Israel (WATTI) promised to buy 1000 tickets for each of the 23 Local Government Areas of the State which would be distributed to the Christians in these Local Government Areas. He described the introduction of Win a Trip to Israel by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) as timely.
He therefore thanked God for the Executive Secretary of NCPC, John Kennedy Opara for the innovations he had brought to bear in the Commission and Israel. He called for creative thinking by all Nigerians in order to add value to the economy of our dear country. He explained that the situation we are in today in Nigeria should compel us to think outside the box.
The Governor further stressed the need for diversification of the economy; he posited that the era when the nation took diversification of the economy less serious was over. According to him, “everyone born on the face of the earth is blessed with one talent or the other and should be well harnessed for the development of the country.” Earlier in his remark, the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Adolphus Ekpe, stated that Win a Trip to Israel had been launched in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Ekiti, Rivers, Adamawa and Taraba state.
He thanked the Governor for accepting to launch WATTI in his state. He prayed that the Lord would surely bless him for supporting Kingdom work. According to the DG NLRC, “WIN A TRIP TO ISRAEL is a religiously accepted lottery scheme”. He emphasized that WATTI is a national product aimed at sustaining Christian pilgrim programme. He added that the programme provides opportunity for the financially challenged Christians to win and go to Israel on Holy Pilgrimage.He assured that his Commission would ensure that the programme would continuous to be transparent and operated with spiritual integrity. He called on Christians in Benue state to embrace the programme. His words:”WATTI is a Nigerian brand that has come to stay”.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, John Kennedy Opara affirmed that it was practically impossible for the state or Federal government to sponsor Christians to the Holy land in view of the dwindling state of the nation’s economy. He explained that it was because of this that WATTI was introduced to afford many Christians the opportunity of embarking on Holy Pilgrimage. His words “we are launching WATTI to encourage Christians to be able to go on Holy Pilgrimage to Israel”. Mr. Opara described pilgrimage as “a journey of a life time”. He affirmed that pilgrimages will succeed as long as it has the blessings of God”. The NCPC boss informed that the Commission runs four pilgrimages annually so as to give Christians the opportunity to choose the programme they would want to key into.
He promised that the Commission would set up a Kibbutz centre in Nigeria akin to the type in Israel. He disclosed that Benue had been chosen in North Central for the sighting of the centre. Mr. Opara urged the people of Benue state to support the present administration in the state to enable the Governor to succeed. He admonished the Christian leaders in the state to promote WATTI in their local churches and continue to buy tickets as the raffle draw is a continuous process which would be drawn every end of the month and winners would always emerge. The raffle draw of WATTI in Benue State was supervised by the Governor, NCPC Boss, DG NLRC and Officials of Give ‘N” Take Lottery. Two lucky winners emerged, they are: Mr. Istafanus Danladi and Mrs. Fatima Agaku wife of the ADC to the Governor.