Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has charged pilgrims from Edo State embarking on pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan, as well as other Christians, to pray for the success of the 2023 general election and continuous unity and progress in the country.
The governor Obaseki made the request at the departure wing of the Benin Airport where he went to bid farewell to a 16-man delegation from Edo State embarking on the 2023 pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan.
He commended the chairman of the state Pilgrims Board for a change of narrative in relation to abscondment.
Said he, “I believe this is the second opportunity I am having in a long while because we did this before COVID-19, to come and wish you farewell as you proceed on your pilgrimage; the same always happens with Muslim pilgrims.
“I thank the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who is also chairman of the Pilgrims Welfare Board for the sanity you have brought into the Board. In the past, our concern was the level of abscondment during such pilgrimages but as of today, Edo State has been praised and hailed as having no incidents of absconding of pilgrims.
“You are proceeding on your pilgrimage as ambassadors of Edo State and Nigeria. This is a serious obligation as you take this exercise at this very period of our national life,-a week before the general election that will be decisive for us as a nation and people.
“I am here to urge you all to pray for us – the state, country, and its leadership – for God to touch our hearts to make the right decisions for the progress and betterment of the country.”
In his remarks, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and chairman of Edo State Pilgrimage Welfare Board, Bishop Oriname Oyenude Kure, expressed joy that the governor came personally to send them off and committed to the welfare of pilgrims in the state noting that the state now has a zero pilgrims abscondment record.
“We are happy and excited that you are here personally yourself and your lovely wife to bid us farewell as we go on holy pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan. I thank you for your unfailing passion and commitment to pilgrimage in Nigeria, particularly Edo State.
“You have always been very committed to pilgrimage, giving us all the support both medically and financially; we are grateful. Before your administration, Your Excellency, the board suffered abscondment and when you came in as governor, you said you don’t want to hear anything about abscondment. Your administration has been able to record zero abscondment during pilgrimages to the holy land.
“The Nigeria Christian Pilgrimage Commission had to praise the state for zero abscondment level over the years and we have maintained it under your watch,” the chairman stated.
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