No fewer than 800 pilgrims from Niger state will be airlifted from the Minna airport to perform this year’s pilgrimage to Israel by December, as the state governor, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu sponsors 199 Christians.
Leader of the Niger state Christian Pilgrims’s delegation to this year’s pilgrimage, Barrister Abraham Yisa said this yesterday at a press conference that the state governor sponsored persons in three categories.
According to him, “The governor has approved the sponsorship of 199 pilgrims from Niger state. The first category will get 100 percent sponsorship, the second 50 percent and the third category 30 percent sponsorship, excluding the 16 delegates from the state.
“Also, all the local governments in the state, will fully sponsor 140 pilgrims. This is the governor’s initiative to encourage private individuals to participate in the spiritual exercise.”
Barrister Yisa also added that there is a marching order that the number of pilgrims increases in the state if the state pilgrims board must have a Commission of its own.
“We appeal to well-meaning Christians to encourage people to come forward and sponsor Christians to the Holy land. We want our pilgrims to be airlifted from the Minna airport by December as against the former November date.
“As part of our responsibilities to monitor the activities of pilgrims, we met and brainstormed to ensure that adequate arrangement are made in terms of transportation, feeding and accommodation, which is under State of Residence Visit,” he said.
FCT minister urges Muslims to reflect on lessons of Eid-el-Kabir
By Stanley Onyekwere
As Muslim faithful across the world mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has urged them to use the occasion to reflect on the lessons of the festival as well as the teachings of the doctrine of Islamic faith, which are premised on sacrifice and peace respectively.
The minister, who specifically congratulated Muslims resident in the FCT and across the country, enjoined them to pray for the nation to overcome its current security challenges in some parts of the country as well as the successful conduct of the forthcoming general elections that is just at the corner.
He added that all Nigerians irrespective of our religious belief and political inclinations should continue to live in peace and harmony with one another; advising that “we should be our brothers’ keeper.”
In a Sallah message signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Sule, residents were assured that all security outfits in the Territory are adequately prepared to be on top of any unexpected criminal activities during and after the festivity period.
Mohammed however advised residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement to the security agencies so as to nip on the bud any security breach.