Obiano charges Anambra pilgrims to pray for Jonathan’s victory
THE governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has charged Christian pilgrims who on Tuesday left the state on pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece as part of this year’s Easter pilgrimage programme of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Board to pray for a landslide victory for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the coming March 28 general elections.
He also asked them to pray for an immediate and total defeat of Boko Haram in the on-going war against terrorists in North East region of the nation.
The governor who noted that pilgrimage gives every Christian the chance for spiritual renewal, expressed optimism that the pilgrims would return from the Holy land, transformed.
He charged them to “Pray for President Goodluck Jonathan. Pray that he wins this coming election with a landslide. Also, pray for peace in Anambra State. Pray for peace in Nigeria. Pray also for the total defeat and annihilation of the Boko Haram sect.”
Obiano also reminded the pilgrims to remember to conduct themselves very peacefully and responsibly all through the exercise.
“Israel is a very remarkable place. You must listen to your tour guide very carefully. Bear in mind that you will be watched all through your stay over there. So, you must avoid anything that will not be to the credit of our country , anything that will portray it in bad light.
Always remember to demonstrate that you are from Anambra State – Light of the Nation,” he further advised.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Board, Mr. John Kennedy Opara had , earlier, noted that the event was the first of its kind as it was the first that the Commission would be flagging off the Easter Pilgrimage from the newly upgraded Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.
According to him, “each time we gather to flag off our pilgrimage exercise, we bear witness to our enduring strength and faith in our lord Jesus Christ. We affirm the promise of our God that many nations, including Nigeria shall come to Jerusalem and they shall be blessed. We affirm that what binds us together as Christians in Nigeria is our faith in the word of God. Easter is a time for sober reflection, a time of meditation and a time of purity.
Observing that it was remarkable that the first set of pilgrims to fly to Jerusalem from the Enugu International Airport were from Anambra State, Opara noted that Governor Obiano and his wife had always taken the exercise seriously in the past as they participated in the last Presidential pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
“They traveled with us, fasted with us and prayed with us and that is why today, Anambra State is working,” he recalled and thanking Obiano for his brotherly love and support which he said had continued to inspire him.
“I must remember your steady appreciation and kind words. Your continued support to us gave birth to this flag off that we are having today, Anambra State being the first state to fly this year. Indeed you have touched so many lives with the number of pilgrims you are sending to Israel. May God who you have honoured also honour you,” Mr. Opara declared.
He also used the opportunity to announce the introduction of innovations that will make the exercise a richer experience.
Said he: “This year, we are introducing a basic leadership and skills acquisition programme, the youth pilgrimage programme and the Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme.
These innovations will be our thrust towards reaching out to more Christians who otherwise have remained untouched.
It will help us empower our youth and point to a clear positive direction of where we are going as a nation. Anambra State will be the first state that will participate in our basic leadership and skills acquisition scheme in Israel.
This will help Anambra pilgrims to visit some agricultural centers and other areas that will help to empower them economically , so that by the time they come back to Nigeria they will be able to put into practice what they experienced.
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