*Pilgrims to be airlifted from Asaba International Airport
By Andrew Ikehi
The Delta State Government, Monday, said it had concluded plans to airlift 315 Christians for the 2020 pilgrimage to the Holy land of Jordan.
Chairman, Delta State Christians Pilgrims Welfare Board, Arch-bishop Cyril Odutemu, who announced this during a scheduled briefing with the prospective pilgrims in Asaba, the State capital, said the they would be airlifted between Monday 30 August and Tuesday, 31, August this year.
According to Odutemu, the 315 prospective pilgrims are those earlier billed to travel for the spiritual exercise in 2020, but were denied due to the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Board Chairman while commending the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for sustaining the Pilgrimage exercise inspite of the daunting economic challenge and the prevailing Covid 19 pandemic, however, noted that the 2020 pilgrimage would be in Jordan as against the usual Jerusalem.
The reason for this, Odutemu explained is as a result of the ongoing lockdown in Jerusalem, stressing that the country is yet to suspend its lockdown.
Congratulating the intending pilgrims for the planned exercise, the Arch Bishop enjoined them to reciprocate the State Government’s good intentions by remaining worthy ambassadors of the state and the country at large.
Odutemu, who spoke alongside the Executive Secretary of the Board, Revd. Samuel Okoh and the Information Officer, Pastor Mrs Tega Odudu, urged the intending pilgrims to desist from acts capable of bringing the image of the State in disrepute.
They explained that the exercise, contrary to some notions is not a jamboree, but purely a spiritual exercise which must not be undermined.
The intending pilgrims according to the Executive Secretary of the Board, Revd Samuel Okoh, would be airlifted to the Holy land from the Asaba International Airport.
This, Okoh noted is a rare feat as it would afford them the comfort of travelling straight from the State owned Airport rather than the former trend of traveling via Port Harcourt International Airport.
A medical Practitioner at the briefing, Dr. (Mrs) Tega Idaboh, while urging the intending pilgrims to ensure that they adhere strictly to the global Covid 19 precautions, also, plead with them not to undermine their health needs as the embark on the Holy exercise.