Akwa Ibom State Government says it will provide enabling environment for Christians to worship God and prosper in their endeavours.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom was quoted in a statement as saying this signed by Mr Celestine Ogugua, Head Media,the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), in Abuja,
The governor made the promise at a conference of Christian pilgrimage Leaders and Managers of Nigeria held in Uyo on Thursday.
He explained that Akwa Ibom State was named after God, saying “In Akwa Ibom State we strive day in and day out to do what is right.”
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, said Akwa Ibom State being the first State to host the Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers of Nigeria outside Abuja was strategic.
The governor explained that the people of the state and the state government were partners in progress, adding that the state is made up of 99 per cent Christians.
He commended the NCPC for the choice of Uyo for the 2018 Christian Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers Conference.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Rev. Uja Tor Uja thanked the government and the people of Akwa Ibom State for receiving the Christian Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers in the State.
Uja said they were persuaded that Akwa Ibom stand on a very stead to make Nigeria become what it should become in the world.
He urged Akwa Ibom Government to increase its investment in Christian Pilgrimage, saying that he would like to see more pilgrims from the state taking responsibilities.
He stated that with the challenges before the nation, “we need to increase our prayer commitment and development.
According to him, pilgrimage has gone beyond just sight seeing.
“We want a situation whereby younger people receive leadership. We need to create more opportunities for the younger ones.
The NCPC boss stressed the need for the younger ones to grow and contribute to the development of Nigeria.
Rev. Uja affirmed that Nigeria has the largest number of young people in the world.
He posited that if we invest in the young people, the whole world would bow down for Nigeria.
The cleric explained that Israel’s economy is in the hands of their youth which explains why the country is doing very well globally.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Archbishop Cletus Bassey said the hosting of the Pilgrimage Leaders in Uyo was historic being the first time ever outside Abuja.
Bassey thanked NCPC for considering the State fit to host the conference.
“Akwa Ibom State is the best place to have hosted this conference outside Abuja. This is one place you find peace,” he said.
He assured that this year the government of the State would do more to sponsor more Christians to the Holy Land.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the choice of Uyo was decided in Abuja during the last Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers of Nigeria, where it was agreed that the meeting would be rotational across the states.
The essence of the conference was to enable the Pilgrimage leaders and managers plan, prepare and take decisions on pilgrimage activities towards having a 2018 successful pilgrimage.
The Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers would also embark on a one-week pre-visit to Israel for hotel and holy sites inspection preparatory to the main pilgrimage from October to December