Obaseki urges Edo Christian pilgrims to be good ambassadors


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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has urged Christian contingent from the state in the 2018 Pilgrimage to see their visit to Israel as sacred and to be good ambassadors.

Obaseki gave the charge in his farewell speech to the pilgrims at the Government House Chapel in Benin on Thursday.

The governor was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Edo Ministry of Youths and Special Duties, Ms Itohan Bazuaye.

He said: “You must have a humble character and be full of reverence in your approach to God in the holy land.

“You are going to Israel to experience and have a living encounter with God and come back a changed and transformed person.’’

Some of the pilgrims who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), described the journey as divine and an opportunity to seek the face of God on behalf of the country.

Mrs Stella Esan, a Civil Servant, said: “It is a divine favour for me to visit the holy land.

“We are going to ask God to intervene in the country, especially as the elections draw near’’.

Esan condemned the act of absconding, describing it as unacceptable and wickedness.

“It is not a good thing for pilgrims to abscond. It gives the country a bad image and makes the process of visa procurement very difficult, ‘’she said.

Mr Damian Lawani, Member, Edo House of Assembly, said the purpose of his visit to the holy land was to pray for his family, the state and the country.

He said pilgrims needed to be counselled and encouraged not to abscond during such journeys.

“They should look at what they can contribute to the country because those countries they are running to were built by citizens of those countries,’’ Lawani  said.

The Secretary, Edo Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Patrick Ihayere, said the state had a contingent of 20 persons consisting of 13 females and 7 males.

Ihayere said the pilgrims would only be visiting Israel and not going to Rome due to visa denials.

The secretary said the pilgrims would be away for 10 days from Jan. 24 to Feb. 2, 2019. (NAN)

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