By Gloria Amadi
Mallam Mohammed Bello The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Bello has tasked intending Christian Pilgrims to Israel to be good ambassadors of the country while in the holy land.

He disclosed this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja while bidding farewell to F.C.T and Kogi State Pilgrims shortly before their departure to Israel for the 2016 Christian pilgrimage.

He advised that as the Pilgrims set out on a journey of a lifetime, they should conduct themselves in a manner that is honorable and deserving as Christians.

He stressed that he served for nine years as the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) before his present appointment, so he has “soft spot for Pilgrims.”

Bello explained that the holy land is very holy to all the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

He assured the intending pilgrims that the country expects that by the time they come back from the pilgrimage they should be better citizens. He urged them to pray for themselves, our leaders and the nation.

At the occasion, the senator representing the FCT, Senator Philip Aduda thanked the FCT minister for his support for the intending FCT Pilgrims.

He called for a collective support to rebuild Nigeria by all and sundry and urged the pilgrims to pray for themselves and not to abscond abroad.

Also Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika admonished the intending Pilgrims to do things to please Jesus Christ while on the spiritual journey.

His words, “as we do this journey to Israel, we should do things to please God; I believe that Jesus Christ will come back so we should go there to do things that will please God.”

Addressing the intending pilgrims, the Executive Secretary, NCPC, Rev. Tor Uja affirmed that Nigeria is experiencing a lifting up and not a casting down. He explained that the present economic recession would soon be over and described the intending pilgrims as “great Nigerian patriots”.

Rev. Uja affirmed that “Nigeria is a great Nation and that the greatest pastors around the world are from Nigeria adding that of all the places in the world, Nigeria offers greater responsibilities and opportunities.

He commended the FCT Minister for offering free accommodation to NCPC at the threshold of the commission’s journey of life.

Rev. Uja urged the FCT Minister to help the commission to acquire about 1000 hectares of land in the Federal Capital Territory which would serve as a camp and conference center for pilgrims.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) flagged off this year’s main pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece on 24th November, in Yola, Adamawa State and had also airlifted pilgrims from the South West through the Murtala International Airport, Lagos on 27th November.

The 29th December airlift will be for intending pilgrims from FCT. The airlift of Kogi pilgrims was the third flight since the commencement of this year’s pilgrimage.

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