Dr Levi Monanu, the Chairman Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board (CPWB), Anambra State, said State Government had spent N374,759,700 on sponsoring 805 pilgrims to the Holy Land while 14 pilgrims were personal sponsorship.

Monanu stated this after a thanks giving service for 2014 and Easter 2015 held by the board on Sunday in Awka to thank God for successful conduct of the pilgrimage.

He said the service was aimed at thanking God for his mercy, love and grace in leading the contingents on a safe and fruitful pilgrimage as there was no tell-tales from on set to conclusion of the trip.

 “We recorded no flight mishap, no pilgrim got injured or missing in the Holy land, all participated actively in the pilgrimages activities and fulfilled the purpose for which we went to Israel and returned safely.

“ The Pilgrims went to Israel, saw sites of Christians Religion History and conquered unbelief, their lives can never being same,’’ he said

He said Anambra had the highest pilgrims in South East, Nigeria, that undertook the trips, adding that the pilgrims conducted themselves in line with the Motto of the Holy visit , “Pilgrimage A Tool for Moral and Spiritual Transformation.’’

Monanu commended the State Government for supporting the board, noting that the state was first to embark on Agricultural and Leadership training in Israel.

The Governor, Chief Wille Obiano, commended contingent for representing the state well and assured government would continues to support in building spiritual filled citizens.

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, said pilgrimage was a tool for human and social development as the trip had assisted in reforming and building responsible citizens for development of the state.

He thanked the people for voting APGA in the last State House of Assembly election and assured that the government would continues to do needful to give hope to the hopeless.
Mr Peter Afeaneji –Okhueleigbe, South East Zonal Coordinator of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), said that Anambra had continued to make the zone proud by be a good ambassador during pilgrimage.

He commended the government for their support to the board which had afforded it ample time to plan well for the trip

Prof Vincent Anigbogu , the Director-General, Institute for National Transformation, Abuja, said that pilgrimage was a tool used to infuse character formation among the people.

He said the two day intensive training offered Anambra pilgrims under the reference time was very necessary and called for more of such training in the state to be instituted in schools in order to achieve greater results.

Mrs Ifeadi Pat, a pilgrim said that pilgrimage was a worthy trip as it really helps in transforming lives of those who are like to visit Holy Land.

She said that the government should give more room to people who could not afford the trip as it would certainly make more meaning to their Christians living having the chance to see in reality the holy sites.
Mrs Ngozi Obirili a pilgrim said that visiting the holy site actually makes a difference in the spirituality growth of pilgrims and commended the state government for making the pilgrimage trip a reality.

Dr Uche Okafor said that the trip to holy land should be sustained as there is much to gain in the program and condemned the call to suspend the program from some quarters of the country.  
The events was graced by wife of the deputy governor,Mrs Oby Okeke, traditional rulers SalavationArmy Band entertained the pilgrims .
The board presented plaqus to the governor his wife , the deputy and his wife as a mark of appreciation for their support towards the board/

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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