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12th October, 2017.
Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Uja Tor Uja presenting a made in Nigeria Pilgrim bag to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa during her visit to the Executive Secretary, at the NCPC corporate headquarters in Abuja.

ABSCONDMENT DIMINISHES THE IMAGE OF NIGERIA - NCPC BOSS

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Tor Uja has said that abscondment diminishes the image of Nigeria as a nation. He disclosed this in Abuja while playing host to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in his office.

He explained that abscondment limits someone capacity and voice. His words; "abscondment is not a good thing for anybody", he added; "I want Nigerians to stop abscondment; Nigeria gives us a better life, a good life".

The NCPC boss stated that some of the challenges the Commission faces in tackling the issue of abscondment is the fact that Israeli authorities as a policy had given liberty to everyone with valid visa.

He further explained that even when a potential abscondee is detected, there is nothing much the Commission could do in so far as the pilgrim still has a valid visa.

To this end, he stated; "we are still working with the government of Israel to see how some of these things can be fine-tuned". He tasked the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to help him call on Nigerians in diaspora to assist the Commission to fund pilgrimage. He posited that it was through diaspora funding that helped Israel to stabilize as a nation.

Rev. Uja informed that he would want to have a conference in Israel specially organize for Nigerians in diaspora. According to him; "I would like to have a conference in Israel sometime in February, next year so that we can both address Nigerians in Israel".

He further added, "I believe we can work together, not just in Israel, but in many of our pilgrimage destinations".

The NCPC boss commended Hon. Erewa for her contributions to national development. He said; "you are a shining light for the young Ladies in Nigeria".

He informed the Presidential aide that the Commission was set up to organize pilgrimage. His words; "we are a pilgrimage institution; we do things that galvanize pilgrimage and we do pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece".

Rev. Uja further stated that the Commission would have been involved in other pilgrimage destinations aside these three, but because most other pilgrimage destinations are threatened by one form of challenges or the other. According to him; "we believe that no single Nigerian should be exposed to danger".

He informed her that the Commission recently inaugurated the Committee on Pilgrimage Mobilization that would do an effective work with Nigerians in Diaspora, especially Israel.

In her remarks, Hon. Erewa congratulated the NCPC boss for his well-deserved appointment. She stated that she had seen the dynamism which Rev. Uja has brought to bear in the Commission, adding that Nigerians are religious people and as such the Almighty God has been blessing Nigeria as a people.

According to her "my office will like to work with your Commission. There are a lot of Nigerians that work in Israel legitimately.

She affirmed that corruption is a canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society therefore she urged Nigerians to key into the battle against corruption and that the war against corruption should be total and should not be left in the hands of the few.

She thanked the NCPC boss for receiving her while she looked forward to working with the Commission.

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