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We were embarrassed in Jerusalem, says Clergy 

By Destiny Eseaga

THE General Overseer, Believers Assembly of Nigerian, Prelate Isaiah Issong, has called policy makers in the country to urgently formulate policies that would redeemed the battered image of the country saying Nigerian contingent to 2017 Christian pilgrimage were seen as security threat to the holy land.

Issong, a member of Board of Directors, Nigerian Christian  Pilgrims Welfare Board (NCPWB) Akwa Ibom state, who was among the Akwa Ibom state contingent to the Christian holy said they were humiliated and embarrassed by tour guides.

Speaking to Vanguard in Uyo, the clergy said,” when we arrived the holy land we were never addressed as a Nigerians but Boko Haram and Militants.

“Nobody sees anything good about a Nigerian. Once you come in contact with even fellow pilgrims from other countries you are welcomed with embarrassing questions relating to the fight against Corruption and insurgency.

“Outside this country every Nigerian no matter how highly placed is seen as a potential criminal. Once any foreigner sees you with a green passport you are dreaded and branded a heartless and dubious criminal suspect. We were exposed to ridicule and great embarrassment.”

He attributed the erroneous perception held by officials at the pilgrim’s camp to the negative attitudes exhibited most in foreign countries and daily reports of corruption and insecurity.

Issong said the country has enabling laws that can redeem the image of the country but lamented that the lawmakers are also the law breakers while the executive have no political will to implement the laws.

The clergyman who said a typical Nigerian is a dubious and deceitful person, called for a total reorientation of the mindset of every Nigerian.

He lamented that most Nigerians travel out of the country with the sole aim of serving as courier of hard drugs.

“All these attributes couple with other highly sophisticated crimes in the country has so badly dented the image of Nigeria. We are no longer seen as giant of African in terms of socio-economic development but giants in crime.

Issong noted that most privileged Nigerians are not dedicated to the Nigerian project, noting that prospective Investors spend huge amount of money investigating proposals sent by Nigerian before embarking on any financial transaction because of the negative impression that every Nigerian is corrupt.

The clergy commended President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against corruption and combating terrorism in the country, noting that the success of his administration in tackling corruption would redeem the battered image of the country.

“The President is doing great service to the nation with his war against corruption and terrorism. The problem hindering the success of his campaign is that the corrupt elements are fighting back with our common wealth stolen from our national treasury.

“He is trying to change our orientation to enable us walk proudly into any embassy and demand for visa. Today, if you approach any embassy for traveling visa, you are subjected to months of interrogation and investigations because of the attitudes of Nigerians at home in the Diaspora “.Issong said.


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