The Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rt. Rev. Prof. Msg Cletus Gotan, has emphasized the need for unity in Nigeria, stating that it is essential for the country’s progress. Speaking at a meeting with the NCPC board, management, state pilgrimage leaders, and Christian pilgrimage operators in Nazareth, Israel, on May 31, 2024, Gotan stressed that unity is vital for championing the cause of unity in the country.

He referenced John 17:20-21, emphasizing Jesus’ teachings on Christian unity and encouraging Christian leaders to emulate this by strengthening unity among themselves. Gotan expressed optimism that God would grant the NCPC board the grace for excellent leadership and emphasized the importance of selflessness.

“The gain of our nation cannot be known without unity,” Gotan said. “In NCPC, you and I have the responsibility to worship together, so that truth and love should continue to bind us together.” He affirmed that Christianity has a strong tradition of pilgrimage and highlighted the importance of reconnecting with God and learning about the history of Christianity.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Israel, Her Excellency, Mrs. Agatha Afoekelu, welcomed the group and acknowledged the significance of pilgrimage in Christianity. She commended the leadership of Bishop Stephen Adegbite, Executive Secretary of NCPC, and emphasized the need for pilgrims to conduct themselves properly and avoid negative tendencies.

“Pilgrimage is not a jamboree, but a serious spiritual exercise,” Afoekelu said. “The holy land is holy and will continue to be holy.” She disclosed that the Nigerian Embassy is working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Interior to ensure the comfort and security of Nigerian pilgrims.

Bishop Adegbite expressed gratitude for the retreat, which he said was conceptualized by Christian Pilgrimage Operators. He highlighted the transformation in NCPC’s image since his appointment and assured that the Commission would ensure everyone’s satisfaction.

“We are one family, and we will leave a remarkable mark behind,” Adegbite said. “This retreat is a period of spiritual rejuvenation, and we are here to seek the face of God.”


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