Israeli-Hamas conflict: NCPC suspends planned pilgrimage

The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission has announced the suspension of all pilgrimages to Israel and Jordan, as a result of the ongoing crisis in the nation.

This was made known on Tuesday morning via a statement signed by the Head of Operations of the NCPC, Abu Okpanachi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Yakubu Pam.

The PUNCH earlier reported that the Commission was set to airlift Consulars and self-sponsored intending pilgrims in the later hours of today to Amman in Jordan, where they were to spend four days before moving to Israel.

Okpanachi however assured the pilgrims that the Commission would commence the exercise as soon as the situation in Israel had improved, adding that the Commission deeply regrets the inconveniences caused as a result of the postponement.

The statement reads as follows “I am directed to inform you that our planned pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan has been postponed due to the prevailing crisis situation in Southern Israel.

“The Executive Secretary deeply regrets every inconvenience this will cause you and prays that the good Lord will give peace in our hearts, knowing that all things work together for good for us who love God.

“Kindly be assured that as soon as the situation improves, the Commission will commence the pilgrimage exercise. May the good Lord honour you greatly for your understanding.”

Meanwhile, the NCPC Executive Secretary, Yakubu Pam, has congratulated the fifth batch of pilgrims on their successful pilgrimage exercise in Israel.

The pilgrims who were mostly the first batch of Lagos contingents, landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos at exactly 12:50 am local time today, October 10, 2023, after leaving the country on the 30th of September, for the 2023 Easter pilgrimage completion exercise.

The NCPC boss expressed excitement for their safe arrival while commending their good conduct throughout the exercise.

“I am very excited to know that our fifth batch of pilgrims returned safely to the country, sound and complete,” he said.

He further commended them for their calm disposition, patience, comportment and resilience throughout their eight nights and nine days Pilgrimage experience in the Holy Land, while reiterating that the safety of the Nigerian pilgrims would continue to be the top priority of his Commission.


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