BY EBRIKU JOHN FRIDAY
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday officially flagged off the 2019 general pilgrimage to Israel and Rome at the Chapel of Christ the Light Church, Alausa, Ikeja.
He congratulated the intending pilgrims of Lagos State for their bold initiative to embark on holy pilgrimage to strengthen their faith in the Lord.
The No. 1 citizen of Lagos State also thanked the leadership of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) for choosing Lagos State for the flag off of this year’s general pilgrimage exercise.
He assured that by next year, the State would surpass the record of this year in terms of pilgrimage support and development.
Governor Sanwo-Olu described pilgrimage as a spiritual journey that would transform the lives of the pilgrims forever.
He urged the intending pilgrims to thank God for considering them worthy to re-examine their lives.
According to him, “it is an opportunity for you to increase your faith and it will be an opportunity to fellowship with other Christians”.
The Governor further admonished the intending pilgrims never to think of absconding in Israel. In his words, “you will go well, you will come back well, you will come back to impact on your community”.
He further advised them to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria and Lagos State.
In her welcome address, the Ag. Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mrs Esther Kwaghe, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for approving all the requests of the Commission for the 2019 general pilgrimage.
She stated that the flag off event would remain a special day in the life of the Commission. Mrs. Kwaghe explained that the Commission had put in place all necessary arrangements for a hitch free pilgrimage exercise this year.
She stressed that the Commission would continue to strive to achieve zero abscondment and therefore urged the intending pilgrims to resist the temptation of absconding during the pilgrimage adding that there was no place like Nigeria.
She commended the Lagos State government for allowing the Commission to host this year’s general pilgrimage flag off in the State.
Mrs. Kwaghe further advised the intending pilgrims to examine their lives and should go to pilgrimage with the mind of prayer.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Yomi Kasali, affirmed that “this is the official flag off ceremony of the 2019 general pilgrimage from Lagos State.
He thanked the Lagos State Governor for his support for Christian pilgrimage, describing Lagos as “one of the leading States in terms of pilgrimage support”.
In the words of the NCPC boss, “lets us project Nigeria positively; we should be good citizens of Nigeria.”
He further charged them to project Nigeria well abroad and at all times.
Rev. Kasali affirmed that this year’s general pilgrimage will be the best for Lagos State.
The flag off ceremony of this year’s general pilgrimage to Israel and Rome was graced by His Eminence, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Otumba Bisi Egbeyemi, amongst others.