NCPC warns intending pilgrims against abscondment 

The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) has warned intending pilgrims against abscondment.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, gave the warning at the kick-off of the 2020 main pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Jordan.

The event held on Saturday at the Yakubu Gowon International Airport Heipang, near Jos, with the theme: “Pilgrimage of Peace and Development.”

Pam said pilgrimage was purely a spiritual exercise and not tourism, adding that defaulters would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said the commission had put all security measures to check attempts by pilgrims to abscond.

“Pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, not tourism as many view it.

“We believe those who are embarking on this year’s pilgrimage should know that we shall be engaged in praying not only ourselves but also for the nation.

“The commission has put every security measures on ground to check defaulters.

“During the screening, we carefully dig information regarding every intending pilgrim and to the best of our ability, we shall have a zero abscondment as we embark on this Jordan experience,” he said.

Pam explained that the choice of Jordan to perform the pilgrimage was because Israel was still under lockdown due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He announced that 2,500 intending pilgrims would be performing the 2020 pilgrimage.

Pam added that the decision by the commission to begin airlift of pilgrims from Plateau would address the security challenges faced in the past by pilgrims.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the conduct of the 2020 pilgrimage.

On his part, Rev. Fr. George Gorap, the Executive Secretary, Plateau Christian Pilgrims Board, described the airlifting of pilgrims from the state as “historic”.

Gorap said the initiative would be a catalyst for development.

He added that it would boost economy activities in the state.

Gorap, however, called on the intending pilgrims, particularly those from Plateau to be of good conduct while in the Holy Land. (NAN)