The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, has said that pilgrimage in Nigeria has reached a new dimension.

He made this assertion in Nazareth, Israel, while delivering his charge at the NCPC joint Pre-Visit and Retreat programme for the NCPC board, State Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers, as well as the Christian Pilgrimage Operators on June 1, 2024.

Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Bishop Stephen Adegbite

The NCPC helmsman maintained that for the people of God, Christian pilgrimage would be the champion. He averred that the Commission would not compromise but “we will do the right thing”.

He noted that pilgrimage is not something you do without a passion; you must be committed and have faith in it.

Bishop Adegbite explained that the fact that we come to see where Jesus was born, where he lived, died, and resurrected is enough to strengthen our faith in God.

The NCPC boss charged the pilgrimage leaders to always be their brother’s keeper. According to him, “being our brother’s keeper is very important”. “We must be our brother’s keeper, board members, service providers, state pilgrimage leaders, and Christian pilgrimage operators”.

He reiterated that the Commission’s corporate slogan is Service and Satisfaction.

He vehemently affirmed that never again would NCPC cheat any service providers, and never again would service providers cheat NCPC and Nigerian pilgrims.

He disclosed that measurable goals would be set for management and staff of the Commission. “We will not encourage eye service; my door is open to all; justice will not be sacrificed on the altar of friendship”.

He assured them that under his leadership, the Commission would encourage training and retraining of staff and encourage personal development.

Bishop Adegbite emphasized that Nigerians coming to the holy land must be treated with dignity. His words, “we must fight for our right; we have the intellect, the dexterity; you must earn our trust”.

He commended the stance of Mr. President, who has promised that no religion in Nigeria would be treated above others.

He promised to help the disadvantaged states, especially in the North, to have the opportunity to go to the holy land.

The Executive Secretary also affirmed that abscondment of pilgrims during pilgrimage would no longer be treated with levity; there must be zero abscondment, stating that legal action would be taken against the guarantor and the pilgrim. “If you doubt the integrity of any person, do not bring them on board”.

He charged the Christian pilgrimage operators to see the Commission as a regulator playing a complementary role to the services they render and not competitor. “It is a new dawn, a new beginning. It is a new dawn with our relationship with you”.

The Executive Secretary further acknowledged that the sustaining grace we have in Nigeria is prayer, and it is prayer that is sustaining Israel.

He cautioned against double standards and unhealthy practices, stating that the forthcoming Easter pilgrimage would be a litmus test.

He hinted that the Nigerian Embassy in Israel would be encouraged and work closely with the Commission in order to be on the same page.

He promised that the Commission would ensure prompt payment of all verified claims of the service providers within 72 hours.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rt. Rev. (Prof) Msg Cletus Gotan, urged the pilgrimage leaders to internalize all the takeaways at the retreat so as to replicate them at home.

He harped on the need for unity of purpose and further charged the pilgrimage leaders to work closely with the Commission for effective service delivery.


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