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Not minding Israeli-Hamas conflict, Pilgrims Board insists pilgrimage to Holy Land will hold



Not minding Israeli-Hamas conflict, Pilgrims Board insists pilgrimage to Holy Land will hold

The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Board, on Monday, said despite the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, the pilgrimage to the Holy Land by Nigerian Christians will go ahead as planned.

The Executive Director of the Commission, Reverend Yakubu Pam gave this assurance while addressing the third batch of pilgrims who arrived Abuja, from various states on Monday that the first flight scheduled for Tuesday night was going ahead as scheduled.

According to Rev. Pam, the Federal Government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NCPC have been monitoring the situation in Israel, adding that a final decision on planned visit to Israel would be taken after three days’ tour of holy sites of the Old Testament era in Jordan.

He said: “We have faith but we are not replicating Daniel’s entry into the lion’s den; the Federal Government is monitoring the situation and we are in touch with Israeli authorities so we are quite optimistic.

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“A private group of 70 Nigerian Christian Pilgrims just arrived Israel today (Monday) and a batch from Lagos state is returning aboard an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, the third and last batch for the year will leave on Tuesday night and arrive Jordan the following morning; thus far, there is no cause for anxieties and authorities in both Jordan and Israel are in touch with us.

“Those who genuinely feel some anxieties should note that the ongoing conflict is around Gaza in the very southern part of Israel but all the places that Christian pilgrims visit are in the northern parts of Israel; we now have clean records of no abscondment and pilgrims use the opportunity to collectively pray for Nigeria,” Pam stated.

Speaking further, Rev Pam announced that the Federal Government and authorities in both Israel and Jordan now emphatically confront the issue of absconding pilgrims, adding that such problems are now almost non-existent as any suspicious move by a Pilgrim results in immediate return to Nigeria, along with payment of fines by those who sign as sureties.

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