Nigeria Pays $705,000 To The Israeli Govt. As Guarantee For Pilgrims
The Oasis Reporters
July 4, 2018
By Moses Gbande
The Federal Government of Nigeria has paid out an amount of 705, 000 US Dollars as collateral to intending Pilgrims performing the holy journey to Israel, an official has confirmed.
Addressing the spillover of the 2017 contingent from Plateau state on Wednesday, the Executive Secretary, Plateau State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. George Gorap said that depositing the amount to the Israeli government was to assure them that no Nigerian performing the holy trip will abscond.
Gorap said part of the agreement is that henceforth any Pilgrim who abscond while in the holy land, his or her guarantor will pay a five million naira (N5m) fine.
He said harsh but necessary precautions were reached following massive complaints over rising cases of Nigerian pilgrims who abscond for personal reasons while in Israel.
“At the moment, as a guarantee to the Israeli government that Nigerians will not abscond, the sum of USD 705,000 has been deposited to ensure them that none of them will abscond. Please we are all expected to come back to Nigeria, to our state and to our families.
” In keeping with this arrangement and in agreement with this condition, our guarantors will have to pay a minimum of N5m if a pilgrim absconds. Please save your guarantors from this trouble and any embarrassment”.
“This Pilgrimage is the last batch of the 2017 set, you would gone before now but due to some logistic challenges between the National Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCDC and the Israeli Government, it is now that the time is ripe for us to go. One of the major problems that caused the delay for this last batch also was the issue of absconding- the Israeli government was afraid of the number of Christians who go to Israel in the name of Pilgrimage but only choose to remain there”
Rev. Gorap however appeals to the plateau contingent to be patriotic, travel light and observe the holy mission with all seriousness, saying the significance of the Pilgrimage is spiritually packaged to transform their lives for a better society.
He urge them to use the privilege provided to them by the Executive Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, who sponsored them to the holy land to pray for the peace of Plateau State and the Country at large.
The contingent leaves Jos for Abuja this Thursday for onward airlift to Israel.