By VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA—Ahead of the 2011 Christian pilgrimage, a member of the Federal Capital Territory delegation to Israel, Reverend Fr. Innocent Jooji, said, Wednesday, that of the 1,500 intending pilgrims screened, only 1,000 were qualified to undertake the exercise.
Fr . Jooji said this at an orientation training organised for the intending pilgrims by the FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abuja.
Jooji, who represented Senator Philip Aduda said: “It is important to note that of the 1,500 intending pilgrims screened, only 1,000 qualified to undertake the 2011 Christian Pilgrimage.”
He, therefore, urged Christians to take the spiritual exercise seriously.
FCT Minister of State, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, charged intending Christian pilgrims to Israel to shun criminal tendencies and temptation to abscond as that will dent Nigeria’ image.
Akinjide said the government seriously frowns at the act of abscondment or any other misconduct and that it was working hard to change the wrong perception of the international community over Nigeria, as such considered the Christian pilgrimage as one of the important tools to use.
Her words: “I, therefore, charge you to respect the country and yourself by exhibiting highest sense of exemplary conduct while on the Holy Pilgrimage.
“Permit me to further remind you not to lose focus of the primary essence of the Pilgrimage exercise being to pray for the FCT Administration and the Country as a whole.”
She prayed that the benefits from the Holy Pilgrimage would have direct impact on the Pilgrims’ spiritual growth and by extension the nation.
Executive Secretary of National Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, described Christian pilgrimage as a journey of a life-time that begins from the heart.
He urged participants to be of good behaviour and pray for the unity and progress of the nation.