Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai has described pilgrimages as very important exercise, which enhances good morals, strengthens spirituality and helps to open new windows of possibilities, and bring both Christians and Muslims together, stressing that there is a lot of value addition going for pilgrimage.
El-Rufai, who disclosed this in Kaduna while receiving the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Tor Uja and his management team who were in Kaduna State on a sensitisation visit, also commended the NCPC boss for the laudable programmes he wants to inject into Christian pilgrimage, advising that foreign travels should enlighten the people.
He explained that the level of innovations of the Israeli people is something that would provoke any right thinking person because they have carved a niche for themselves in so many areas of human endeavours.
The Governor applauded the initiative of the NCPC boss to introduce women pilgrimage.
According to him, any society that has good women will be a better society because women are committed and honest.
The Governor also affirmed that about 90 percent of the population of Kaduna state is young people who are less than 35 years. Thus he stated: “I think it is a great thing to target youths and women”.
El-Rufai explained that one of the major challenges before NCPC is how to expand the base of Christian pilgrimage to make it sustainable.
He also lauded the Commission’s support A Pilgrim To Israel, SAPTI, initiative which he said is a welcome development.
He further admonished the Commission to partner with philanthropic organisations to help in supporting the programme of the Commission.
He promised to study the areas of possible partnership with the Commission such as women pilgrimage because of value added.
He stressed that his government is colour blind to ethnicity and religion, and would not succumb to any religious blackmail.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Tor Uja appreciated the Governor for being one of the few states in Nigeria that does not owe salaries to workers.
The NCPC boss informed the governor that pilgrimage had been an age long thing, but the Commission is transforming it to be generally acceptable to all by giving it spiritual strength, make it developmental and not just a spiritual journey.
Uja reaffirmed that Christian pilgrimage is being refocused to strengthen the spiritual mentality of the people.
According to him, we believe that our people should go to Israel and come back with a developmental strong agenda”.
He drew the Governor’s attention to some critical areas of focus by the Commission which includes organising Agricultural pilgrimage to Israel in order to expose pilgrims to modern agricultural trends for better yields, and to enlarge and intensify youth pilgrimage so that our youth can be meaningfully engaged in productive venture.
Uja called on the Government to make Kaduna youths available to the Commission so that they would be part of the Youth Pilgrimage and be part of what the Commission is about to do.
Executive Secretary revealed that there has been a long gap between Christians and Muslims in the country, promising that he would want it bridged.
Meanwhile, in another meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, Ujar advised them to key into the Commission’s Support a SAPTI which would afford many Christians the opportunity of going to Israel with just N500 ticket if emerged winner in the raffle draws.

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