Plateau State Government on Thursday said it would henceforth take legal actions against any Pilgrim that absconds from the holy ground .
Executive Secretary of the Plateau State Christian Pilgrims welfare Board, Rev Fr George Gorap, made this known while speaking with our Correspondent in Jos the Plateau state capital .
In his words “From henceforth any Pilgrim who absconds from the holy land in Israel , his or are guarantor would be made to face the full wrath of the law as contented in the pilgrimage form .
He said that the board would also penalise any person caught selling any pilgrimage form .
The Cleric said that the organisation has put in place procedures that will make it difficult for pilgrims to elope while in the Holy Land.
“It is expected that Christian Pilgrims to Jerusalem, Israel for December 2020 are to undergo robust screening exercise to ascertain their eligibility to embark on the holy spiritual exercise.”
In his words in 2018 , the Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong sponsored 1,700 persons and one person absconded ,last year the state government again sponsored 1,200 persons and 3 persons absconded ,this year because of the challenges of COVID 19, we are yet to get any notice from the Israel government ,however we are preparing and our Governor Simon Lalong has indicated interest to sponsor people for pilgrimage .
However if we would have to ,then all pilgrims from the state must provide a guarantor to stand as surety for them before they will be allowed to perform this important spiritual exercises this December.
In Plateau the state government is working hard to ensure that abscondment while on pilgrimage becomes a thing of the past .
He commended the Plateau State Governor, Rt Hon Simon Lalong for leading in the sponsorship of Christians on Holy pilgrimage to Israel and for advancing the course of Christian pilgrimage in Plateau and in Nigeria as a whole.
He affirmed that the Governor had sponsored the highest number of Pilgrims from 2018 to date.
Gorap also commended the Plateau State Governor for sustaining lasting peace in the Plateau, adding that with peace in Plateau, businesses would thrive and investors would be attracted to invest in the state
He called on Lalong to remain focus in his developmental strides .
The cleric also commended the Executive Secretary,Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC)
Rev. Yakubu Pam and Governor Lalong for working to ensure that pilgrims would be airlift from the Jos Airport in Heipang Plateau state stressing that the action was to ensure the safety of the pilgrims who normally returned at late hours to Nigeria and ply the roads at night from Abuja to Jos.