The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja has called on the Nigerian Church to take up the responsibility of setting agenda for this country.
He made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during a dinner for members of the 2017 Security Committee for this year’s pilgrimage exercise. He explained that just as the media is saddled with the role of agenda setting for the society so also is the Church expected to set agenda for this nation.
Rev. Uja averred that pilgrimage under his leadership would help to set agenda for Nigeria. According to him, “we need to set an agenda and redefine this nation” Consequently, he said; “we need a virile and proactive Church to turn things around”.
The NCPC Boss stated that pilgrimage is about Jesus Christ and Christianity. He called on all Nigerians to make this country our project and lower Nigeria before the Lord. In the words of the NCPC helmsman “what we need in this life God has invested in Nigeria, once Nigeria is healed all our problems are taken care of”.
He was hopeful that every pilgrimage programme of the Commission would lift Nigeria from glory to glory. He called on all participants on this year’s pilgrimage to proceed with joy, peace and progress.
The NCPC boss thanked the members of the security committee for a successful two day security orientation workshop held recently in Abuja.
Rev. Uja reaffirmed that pilgrimage should not be seen as a normal regular activity. He explained that as Christians, pilgrimage should help to build up our faith and propagate it globally”. He stressed that pilgrimage must be much more than an activity.
He defined pilgrimage as a person’s reach for God in the direction of his presence. He added that pilgrimage is a life focusing and transforming exercise.
The NCPC boss explained that everything in Israel is about an experience somebody had. According to him, “pilgrimage is not about seeing places but to allow them to influence your life”.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Security Committee for this year’s pilgrimage, Major Gen. Emmanuel Nienge (RTD) thanked the NCPC boss for the opportunity to serve and for the opportunity to interact and fraternize with one another.
Members of the 2017 Security Committee recently had their two day orientation workshop in Abuja organized by NCPC. The dinner event was their last programme for the year as the Commission is set to commence its inaugural flight on 23rd November, 2017 from Lagos.
In chat with with journalists on the thrust of the training, the NCPC boss further said, “We want to help our security operatives to coordinate and create an environment in which pilgrims can perform spiritual pilgrimage without having any threat of anything and yet they will be sensitive to keep an eye on the operations around the pilgrims.
“We want the security operatives themselves to have spiritual blessing. And part of what we did in this training is to train them spiritually. Because in the course of pilgrimage they may not have time to give proper attention to everything because they will also be performing their security duties.
“So we try to give them their now and next year we are hoping that all the service arms of pilgrimage including security, spiritual committee, medicals and so on.
“We are going to organise a specific pilgrimage for them only with their own spiritual blessing and it will be only for service providers. I hope that time many of you in the press will also be there as service providers when you would not be going as necessarily as journalists but as pilgrims who deserve to get blessed spiritually and to get into the depth of what God is doing.
“So the focus of the pilgrimage training for the security personnel is to enable them do their duty without compromising or threatening the spiritual aspect. This evening is the concluding part of it and we wanted all the security personnel to know each other so that on the field they would not have difficulties of identification in the operational process.
On the flag-off of the 2017 pilgrimage
“We are still going to do the flag-off for 2017 pilgrimage in Gombe. It is likely to be on the 5th of December now. But since we cannot wait for the flag-off, pilgrimage must start this Thursday, November 23, 2017. So the inaugural flight is going to be in Lagos on the 23rd. There will be a second flight in Yola on 24th. There will be a third flight in Abuja on the 26th and there will be the 4th flight in Port Harcourt on the 28th. And there will be another flight, two flights in Lagos, 2nd and 3rd of December. But the flag-off that will announce the pilgrimage year will be in Gombe. The date now has been shifted to December 5, 2017. We will still be there and we will invite you and expect that you would be there. Thank you.
On building a virile church…
“First thing is that we have organised prayers for the church. And this year we did a little bit of pastors conferences but next year we are going to have wider church conferences for leaders so that we can do this sensitisation and orientation. We intend to also have a specific pilgrimage for Nigerian pastors and church leaders, where we would spend six to seven days together in prayer, we will visit sites briefly, but then we would spend time indoor reviewing the Nigeria situation, studying the role that supposed to be of the church and strategise on how we are supposed to do it with a focus and commitment. That would be in Jerusalem I think in April next year.
“But we are having specific meetings in Nigeria and abroad targeted at church pastors. This year you know we did a meeting with pastors, we did for women leaders in the church, we did for youth leaders in the church and we didn’t have time to do a few others. But next year it is going to be more expansive.
“We believe that the church holds the key to unraveling the myth that have held this country down. We want the church to rise up and do it. This has to be done in love, with a commitment of purpose and also with a labour that is built on the word of God.”