by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
About 410 persons are expected to perform the 2022 Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Plateau State, to be joined by 50 others (who are self-sponsored) from other states, making a total of 460 intending Pilgrims.
The 50, who are self-sponsored, will be determined after screening, if they scale through, because they are not from Plateau State.
Secretary of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Very Rev Fr. George Gorap, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in his office, in Jos, when he said preparation is ongoing and screening has started to enable them meet up with the deadline.
According to him, the self-sponsored are from different states, and it is after their screening that it will be determined – whether they will participate in the exercise or not, because their fear is that some of them used to abscond during the pilgrimage and create a bad name for the state.
He said, “It has not been an easy task, especially for the State Government to sponsor people for this exercise. As we all know, times are very hard for this decision for them to prepare people for 2022 Pilgrimage.”
The secretary said, this is something that they really give thanks to God for Governor Lalong for allowing the people of Plateau State to perform the 2022 pilgrimage.
“So far so good, we are out we are preparing people that will embark on the journey. Right now, as you can see from the conference room, you can see staffs of the NCPC are here for screening. Although, not all forms are here, but we have started screening, so that the first batch could meet up with the time,” he stated.
“So, we are expecting people, who have received forms, to bring them immediately, especially those who have not submitted their own. This is to enable us meet up with the deadline given to us by the NCPC,” the secretary stated, while encouraging those that have the form to work hard and fill them up to enable them finish the preparation.
According to him, he has discovered that a lot of people bring in their forms, which is commendable on the part of the beneficiaries.
He said, “The 2022 sponsorship by the government is the list compared to the previous years from Plateau State, but however it’s still the highest sponsorship in the federation, because the governor has his goodwill and is commendable.”
The secretary, however, noted that, “If forms are not returned, there is nothing we can do about it, because forms must come to the office, and we must look at the forms to compile it; if possible, we can even apply for Visa before the date is fixed for the journey.
So, we call on everybody who, by the grace of God, has gotten the form should be able to work hard and fill it and send it to the office, so that we can compile it and enable the staffs of NCPC to screen them, so that we can prepare for them for the journey.
The Director Special Duties of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission and Head of the delegate for screening, Pastor Raphael Oyinloye, said they started screening on Wednesday and ended on Thursday for those who were available.
According to him, he earlier addressed them before the screening, and the turnout was encouraging, as over 100 people were all screened and there was no problem found.