By NCPC MEDIA
The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom state, His Excellency, Governor Godswill Akpabio has commended the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission for changing the face of Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria. He made the commendation in his office in Uyo while playing host to the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and his Federal Commissioners who were in the state on a sensitization drive for the 2014 Christian pilgrimage.
Governor Akpabio Commended the NCPC boss for his giant strides, vigorous sensitization and strong advocacy since his assumption in office as the helmsman of NCPC. He stressed that before his coming on board in NCPC, Christian pilgrimage was not popular, but through responsive leadership, Christian pilgrimage has become a household name in Nigeria.
He further commended NCPC for using pilgrimage as a tool for moral and spiritual rebirth. The No.1 citizen of Akwa Ibom state was particularly touched to hear from the NCPC Boss that the main essence of Christian pilgrimage to Israel was to have a divine encounter with God. The Governor further commended him for his self sacrifice which he is using the commission to achieve. He prayed that his sacrifice for the country and that of Mr. President would never be in vain. He assured the Executive Secretary of NCPC that he would continue to work with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, as well as the State Christian pilgrim Welfare Board to sponsor as many Christians as possible this year.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara equally commended Governor Akpabio for changing the face of governance in Nigeria. He stated that the Governor has consistently demonstrated his faith in God; hence, his ability to transform Akwa Ibom state beyond imagination. According to the NCPC boss “your impeccable love for the people of the state and the entire Nigeria is unprecedented.” He further commended him for transforming Akwa Ibom state to the Dubai of Nigeria.
Mr. Opara further told the Governor that the commission had decided to honour him for consistently supporting Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria. A plague was presented to him for this honour which would further spur him to do more for the Christians. Mr. Opara affirmed that last year alone, the Governor sponsored about 1,700 Akwa Ibomites on Holy Pilgrimage, which he said was the highest number ever sponsored by any state Government.
He stated that since 2012 till date, the Commission had been able to maintain steady reduction of 9% in pilgrimage costs and would continue to ensure that Christian Pilgrimage is affordable for all Nigerians.
The Executive Secretary also met with CAN officials and members of the Akwa Ibom state Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board.
The Executive Secretary was accompanied on the sensitization visit by the Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Gen. Jones Oladehinde Orogbofa, the Federal Commissioner representing South-South, Pastor Mike Abrakata, the Federal Commissioner representing North-West, Elder Major (Rtd) Dogara Akut as well as the Ex-officio member representing CAN, Pastor Austine Febo.