The Nigerian Pilgrims Christian Commission (NCPC) is airlifting about 20,000 pilgrims from Nigeria to the pilgrimage in Israel this year. This is highest number of Christian pilgrims to the pilgrimage worldwide this year.
The Senate President, David Mark, flagged-off the airlift programme, which began with 409 pilgrims, and warned that Nigerians should not be viewed as as if every Nigerian travelling out of the country is courier of illegal drugs and Nigerians should not be subjected to extensive security checks. He pointed out that Nigerian pilgrims are good citizens and also Christians who are on a holy pilgrimage.
He also advised the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria saying √ĘÄúLet me reiterate the point that I am sure has been raised over and over again. When you leave this soil, make sure that you come back. So many of us were embarrassed when we hear that 50 per cent of pilgrims absconded en route or they got to Israel and when it is time to come back they cannot find them."
√ĘÄúThere is so much good in this country. I was on exile for five years and every blessed day of those five years, I was praying to come back to Nigeria. So please, do not abscond, make sure that you return. It is only when you come back that government would be encouraged to send many more Nigerians for pilgrimage,√ĘÄĚ