From ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER, Abuja
THE Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) successfully organized its second Christian Pilgrimage stakeholders Summit in Abuja with the theme: the role of the Church in the sustainability of Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria”.
Speaking at the event, the Special Guest of Honour, the Speaker House of Representatives, RT Hon. Yakubu Dogara, commended the leadership style of the Executive Secretary of NCPC, John Kennedy Opara. He described the 2015 Youth Pilgrimage to Israel as well as A Day with Jesus in Israel held last year which he led other Christian leaders to Israel as impactful.
The Speaker also commended the Commission for establishing a mini Clinic in Israel jointly established by the Commission and Stakeholder in Israel at no cost to the government. He further commended the Commission’s skill acquisition programme in Israel which he was opportune to inspect during his visit to Israel last year and has been able to sponsor some youths from his constituency under the platform to acquire skills in Agriculture that would make them self reliant. In the words of the Speaker:” the achievements of NCPC and the impact of its skill acquisition programme make me proud as a Christian”.
RT. Hon. Dogara described the NCPC win a trip to Israel as very inspiring. He prayed that God will give the Stakeholders idea on how to move Christian Pilgrimage forward.
According to him, as Christians, we are bound to look up to God and not Government for the survival of pilgrimage in Nigeria. He added, “God will not fail us, let God be true and all men be liar”. He called for unity in the body of Christ. He enjoined Christians who would be going for different elective positions in CAN to put God first so they could emerge from the election stronger than ever before.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor explained that Christians from every denomination have participated in pilgrimage whether through NCPC or any other platform. Consequently, he affirmed that it was time for the church to come with open mind to take ownership of pilgrimage.
According to him, “we are here because we believe that pilgrimage is important and it must be sustained”. He commended the Commission for its self sustenance drive. His words: “the future of Christian pilgrimage lies in Church initiatives and innovations”. He called on the Church to key into the self sponsorship drive of NCPC.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NCPC, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh thanked the stakeholders for turning out in their numbers for the Summit “you have come is a very good response that you want the survival of Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria”.