By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked intending Christian pilgrims in the state to allow their experience while at the Holy Land to transform them into crusaders for a new Nigeria.
The governor gave the charge during a one-day orientation/retreat for the 2019 intending pilgrims with the theme “Pilgrimage: A tool for Moral Transformation and Spiritual Rebirth,” organised by the Edo State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board at Government House Chapel, in Benin City.
The governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Special Duties, Ms Itohan Bazuaye, said the essence of the orientation was to prepare the intending pilgrims physically and spiritually for the journey to the Holy Land.
He noted that the theme for the retreat was apt and timely, adding, “The poor value system among our people must change. If we must succeed, then every Nigerian and particularly believers who have visited the Holy Land must work towards building a new nation which we will all be proud of.”
Obaseki cautioned the intending pilgrims against absconding during the visit, urging them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and the state.
In his address, Chairman, Edo State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Oyonnude Kure, said the retreat was aimed at correcting the wrong impression about embarking on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, noting, “It is not for tourism and not for business. It is to fulfil God’s injunction.”
He expressed appreciation to Governor Obaseki for providing the needed finance, logistics and medical team to ensure a successful 2019 pilgrimage.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Religious Matters, Pastor Eghosa Omoruyi, urged the participants to get prepared for amazing time with the Lord at the Holy Land, noting, “Life at the Holy Land makes you more disciplined and fervent in prayers.”
Secretary of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Sir Patrick Ihayere, said the journey to the Holy Land will promote moral transformation and spiritual rebirth in the country.
“It is hoped that our spiritual and moral conscience would have been pricked and the desire for a moral transformation and spiritual rebirth will be sown in your hearts after this experience,” he said.