ABIA STATE GOVERNOR TO SUPPORT NCPC’S SELF SUSTENANCE DRIVE
The Executive Governor of Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has pledged to support NCPC’s self sustenance drive. He made this known while playing host to the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr.John Kennedy Opara and his management team who were on a sensitization visit at Government House, Umuahia. In his words, “I will help you to convince people who are materially rich to support our people to embark on pilgrimage”.
He informed the Executive Secretary that he has started educating well meaning Nigerians in the state that are capable to sponsor Christians who are spiritually rich but materially poor to embark on pilgrimage exercise.
Governor Ikpeazu commended the Commission for the introduction of skill acquisition programme into their pilgrimage activities. He identified the benefits of the skill acquisition programme. According to him, “today pilgrimage has gone beyond spiritual benefits but also provides an opportunity for people to learn especially in the area of Agriculture”.
He posited that at the end of the exercise Christians would be spiritually renewed and mentally employed.
The Governor urged the Commission to ensure that Christians who are given the opportunity of going on pilgrimage should be able to come back and educate others on what they have acquired from the Holy Land. According to him, “this will engage our people”.
He thanked the Executive Secretary for visiting Abia State, and urged him not to relent in prayers for the State and its inhabitants.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara, congratulated the Governor for his success during the election, adding that God brought him at a time like this to move Abia state forward. He affirmed the Governor’s integrity and love for his people. In his words, “you are an exemplary leader”.
Mr. Opara informed that the Commission runs four pilgrimage programmes in one calendar year: the Family pilgrimage, which is designed to avail families the opportunity of praying together in the Holy Land; Easter pilgrimage, Youth pilgrimage, and the General pilgrimage.
He added that the maiden youth pilgrimage was flagged off on 25th July, by the Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and explained that skill acquisition has been added to pilgrims’ activities in the Holy Land in order to empower them to be self employed.
He intimated his host on the Commission’s programme: ‘A day with Jesus in Israel’ and seized the opportunity to invite the Governor for the 2015 edition which would be held in Israel, come 25th October. Speaking further, he explained that in line with the Commission’s drive towards self sustenance, the Commission is presently partnering with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to promote Christian pilgrimage participation, which would avail every Christian the opportunity of going on pilgrimage with little or no cost.
He urged the state to partner with the Commission. In his words, “I know the road is long but the finishing is sure”.