BY KENNETH EHIGIATOR
Immediate past Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, South-East zone, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, has expressed delight over the regular use of Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu as take-off point for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Bishop Chukwuma, who is also the Bishop of Enugu Diocese of the Anglican Communion, said in Enugu, weekend, after the ceremonies to mark the departure of Anambra pilgrims to this year’s Easter pilgrimage to Israel that the airport had become international, having played host to the fourth airlift.
The pilgrims terminal was built by immediate past Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, and Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, represented President Goodluck Jonathan to perform the flagged off ceremony.
Chukwuma said: “We are now happy that we are packaging our pilgrims from Akanu Ibiam Airport. This (Anambra) is the fourth state; the first state we packaged from here was Abia, the next one was Ebonyi, the third one was Enugu last year.
“Anambra State is now being packaged for Easter pilgrimage and we are happy that the Atlas Jet is taking them from Enugu Akanu Ibiam Airport, making this place an international airport, indeed, and we feel so happy.
“So we are hoping that the pilgrims will go as good ambassadors of Nigeria and will allow this pilgrimage to go through them so that they can be transformed and come back not the same again, but transformed as better Christians to influence others.
“So we thank the governors of South-East states for what they have done to make sure that this year’s pilgrimage is a success and we pray that it will continue.”
Similarly, Federal Commissioner, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, the Presidency, Rev. Dr. Zion Solomon Ibenye, who represented the South East zone, described the flag-off of Easter Pilgrimage as a good development, noting that everything had gone on as planned.
“You can see that Federal Government is committed to the project and the state governments in the South East zone are also committed,” he said.
In his prayers for the pilgrims, Primate of All Nigerians, Anglican Communion, who also doubles as the Chairman, Nigerian Christians Pilgrims Commission, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Okoh, prayed for all those that made the pilgrimage possible, including President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Obi.