War in Gaza: Israel safe for pilgrimage – NCPC boss 

Amid the ongoing war in Gaza, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev Stephen Adegbite, says the Israeli ambassador to Nigeria and Israeli officials have assured Nigerian pilgrims of safety.

This was as he said Gaza is not part of area usually visited by pilgrims, adding that Israel is safe for pilgrimage.

Rev. Adegbite stated stated this Wednesday while addressing journalists at NCPC corporate headquarters in Abuja on resumption of pilgrimage to Israel.

He said: “I have meet with the Ambassador of Israel in Nigeria, I have met officials in Israel and I have been given 100 percent assurance that Nigerian pilgrims will be save in Israel. 

“Like I said said to you, since 1999, there is no year I visited Israel that there was no challenge of war. But when you go you will not hear a gunshot.

” I just returned from Israel two weeks ago. I traveled from Arman to Israel by road. That was about four hours journey and people were going about their normal businesses. There is no restriction for movement and gathering. 

“If the country is not safe for pilgrimage, the Israeli government will not allow you to come in. There was a time they place restriction on prigrimage. Now they have open up the borders, airspace is open, normal activities are going on in Israel both day and night. It’s something that I saw with my eyes because I was there two weeks ago.

“We don’t go to Gaza. Gaza is not part of our journey. Where we go to in Israel you will not hear any gunshot.”

The NCPC boss said christian pilgrimage is not complete if a pilgrimage doesn’t visit Israel or Jerusalem.

“We are resuming pilgrimage to Israel. We starting with Easter pilgrimage which is open now and we are going to close it up by July.  Then we have the main pilgrimage which will start by November and end in February.

“Anyone that is going for pilgrimage as a Christian must terminate the exercise in Israel  and Jerusalem. There you will see the path of Christ. You will see where Christ was born, where he lived as a human being for 33 years, where he died, where he was buried, where he resurrected and where he ascended.

“These are the things you see and know that Christianity is not fables or an imagination of the mind but something that happened at one point in history,” he said.