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Nigeria Chooses Jordan as Christian Pilgrimage Centre

Christian Pilgrimage
Christian Pilgrimage
By Uche Amunike
The Federal Republic of Nigeria has officially chosen the kingdom of Jordan as one of the permanent destinations for its citizens to visit for pilgrimages.
This information was disclosed in a statement issued by Mary Gana of the Public Relations Department of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, on Monday in Jos.
The statement said that the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Rev Yakubu Pam, disclosed the development when he visited the Minister of Tourism and Antiques in Jordan, Mr Nayef Alfayez.
Reverend Pam explained that the Federal government had obligated the Commission with the responsibility of taking Christian pilgrims to every holy site around the world.
‘The Commission in the past, had three pilgrimage destinations which are Israel, Rome and Greece’.
‘But now Jordan has been officially added to our pilgrimage destinations’.
‘This is only possible because the Jordanian government has opened its doors to us.’
‘The support and cooperation accorded us to ensure a hitch-free pilgrimage exercise, especially in the area of visa procurement is impressive.’
‘You kept to every promise you made to us and we are grateful’, he said.
Jordan has many holy sites just like Israel. There are more than 100 holy sites all over the world and by the mandate given to the Commission by the 2007 Act of Paliarment that established it, pilgrims can visit all these sites.
‘But the decision to embark on the Jordan pilgrimage was due to Israel’s insistence on Nigeria to accept her version of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Also, the war in Gaza which will provide security challenges to pilgrims is another key reason.
The purpose of pilgrimage is to invoke the spirit of God upon Nigeria and the people, and not mere tourism,” Pam said.
On why pilgrims are airlifted from Jos and not Abuja, he said that the decision was reached in order to reduce the hardship faced by pilgrims in the past.
The Executive Secretary added that the new development will further boost relations between Nigeria and Jordan in the area of Tourism, Agriculture and Technology.
The Jordanian Minister had earlier thanked the Executive Secretary and his team for their visit. He also commended the Nigerian government and Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission for considering and adding the holy sites in Jordan as viable pilgrimage destinations.
Alfayez went on to explain that the greatest thing the country cherished as a nation was the peaceful coexistence between the Christians and the Muslims.
Said he: ‘we work together as brothers and we accept each other not minding our religious differences’.
He gave the assurance that the Jordanian government will do everything possible to ensure that pilgrimage to the country was worthwhile.
During his remark, the Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan, Mr Faruk Yabo also thanked the Jordanian authorities for their cooperation and contribution to the success of the pilot scheme of pilgrimage to the country.
He solicited for more cooperation in the area of visa procurement to give Nigerians the opportunity to visit Jordan in order to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
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