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Avoid Politicisation of Pilgrimage As It Is A “Spiritual Exercise” – NCPC Boss Warns Pilgrim Leaders

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Christian leaders responsible for pilgrimages in Nigeria have been told to avoid politicisation of pilgrimage as it is a “spiritual exercise” and not otherwise.

Addressing leaders and managers of pilgrimages from all the states of the nation via zoom meeting at the conference hall of the Commission, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Rev. Dr. Yakubu Pam, frowned at misguiding tendencies of those he accused of” misleading the people about the Jordan trip”!

According to Rev Pam, the commission was working round the clock to ensure a smooth airlift of pilgrims to Jordan as soon as the President approved the revalidation of the dollar.

He said, “We have sent the memo to the President since last week before he traveled outside the country to France.

“We were hoping he would approve it before this meeting but unfortunately he left for France for a meeting.

“We hope by next week or so, if the President approves our revalidation of the dollar, we hope to undertake the trip as planned, but if otherwise, our earlier date of  flag-off, billed for 29 May, will not be feasible”, he said.

The conference of states’ meeting was summoned to update the Executive Secretaries of the 36 states and the FCT on the state of readiness of the 2020 Holy pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Jordan this year and some urgent developments arising as the deadline for airlift of the intending pilgrims drew nearer.

Briefing conferees on the preparations so far being put in place, Rev. Amos k. Yohanna, the NCPC Director of operations, told them that each intending pilgrim was expected to undergo three folds of COVID-19 tests 48 hours before taking off.

He said two of the tests would be done in Nigeria and one when they arrived at the Amman International airport.

Pam Ayuba, his media aide, in a statement, said the commission has put in place an ICT team that will be on ground at each point to carry out such exercise alongside officials of the health department to do the testing.

Rev. Amos said, “each intending pilgrim will pay N55, 000.00 (at once) to the lab assigned to your state before samples are collected for both the departure and post arrival tests.

“Post arrival test should be conducted on the 7th day of return to Nigeria. State Boards should organise how pilgrims will gather in one place for the test,” he explained.

According to him, there will be tests in Jordan with payments ranging from $41.00 or N18, 000.00 pre-departure payments at check-in to Atlasjet, the carrier on arrival at Amman airport.

Speaking on behalf of all attendees, Chairman of the Conference of States and Chairman Taraba State Board Chairman, Rev Magaji, said they were prepared for the journey to the Kingdom of Jordan and assured the ES of maximum cooperation.

At the end of the meeting, it was all agreed that a week or two be extended for the trip as they anticipate the President’s revalidation of the dollar.
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