The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), has said that it has identified five states where absconding of pilgrims is prevalent, saying it would beam its searchlight on these states tagged, ‘red flag.’
The executive secretary, NCPC, Rev. Tor Uja, made this known in Abuja during the submission of the 2017 pilgrimage report to NCPC by members of the Security Committee.
Uja who noted that the commission has introduced a number of measures to discourage absconders during pilgrimage said, “Any pilgrim that will travel from the five red states must pass through the eye of the needle.”
He explained that such strategies include compulsory screening for all intending pilgrims as well as ensuring that those who would screen the intending pilgrims must go through training and retraining.
The NCPC boss also hinted that the commission has commenced a strong partnership with the Israeli government to make absconding difficult.
He also said that the pilgrims’ guarantors’ form has been modified to make guarantors liable to their action by prosecuting them in the court of law.
“No pilgrim would abscond in this year’s pilgrimage as everything has been put in place to stop absconding in its entirety. The commission would ban any ground handler found wanting.”
He intimated that the on-going Easter Pilgrimage has so far witnessed zero absconding of pilgrims.
The NCPC helmsman further urged members of the security committee not to rely on their strength and professional competence but stressed the need for pastoral training for all the members because they need fervent prayers to excel in the assignment as pilgrimage is a spiritual journey.
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