Deltans, particularly Christians who wish to embark on Pilgrimage this year have been assured of improved and better Pilgrimage programme laced with more sanctity, accuracy and greater fear of God.
The Executive Secretary of the Delta State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Revd (Prof) Oke Akokotu who handed down the assurance during an interview with The POINTER in his office in Asaba said that the board is working assiduously to address some of the lapses witnessed during previous Christian Pilgrimages in the state.
Akokotu while saying that Pilgrimage to the Holy Land will no longer be business as usual, challenged intending Pilgrims to develop change of attitude and mindset, stressing that against the former attitudes of some individuals who see Pilgrimage to Israel as fan fare, the subsequent pilgrimage will be tailored on the core value of the exercise which is basically on spiritual activity.
He said, “ in this administration, my message to Deltans is that as they seek for opportunity to travel to Israel, they should be conscious of the spiritual benefits of embarking on the journey such that they should be ready to partake in all the spiritual activities that will make them better Christians with a changed life when they return from the trip.
“Above all, as they embark on Pilgrimage, they should ensure that they pray extensively for the Governor, his cabinet, the judiciary, legislature and in fact all Deltans. They should pray for the government that sponsored them on that trip because, to sponsor an individual to Israel, takes a lot of money and if Government has spent so fabulously, courtesy demands that we should pray for that government religiously.
“I am saying these because it has been observed during previous pilgrimage that when it is even time for prayers at the Holy Land, some pilgrims will dulge and would not want to participate in it. This is wrong and people should participate fully in all the activities during the exercise.
“Anybody who goes there should not forget that they were sponsored by the state government. So, any pilgrim who is sponsored by government to embark on the trip should know that he or she has the responsibility to pray for that government.
Further he said, “One of the most important things that we do during pilgrimage is to pray for the government that sponsored us on that trip. Anyone who goes on pilgrimage and does not spent time to, wholeheartedly pray for that same government that sponsored him or her there, that person is not a faithful Deltan”. Akokotu enthused.
Meantime, Revd. Akokotu while condemning the attitudes of some persons who flout the state government spelt out rule not to enjoy government’s sponsorship to the Holy Land more than once, assured that the present administration at the board has put up machineries to check the trend.