3 win free trip to Israel, as Okpara urges support for Buhari


By; Oladele Adedayo, Ado-Ekiti.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Mr Kennedy Okpara has called on Nigerians to embrace the reformatory moves by the Buhari-led administration towards improving the socio-economic development of the country.
Okpara who made the call Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti at a raffle draw tagged ‘win a free trip to Israel’, said the scheme was an initiative designed for poor Nigerians to enjoy the benefits of visiting the holy land for spiritual rejuvenation.
He said “All of us must key into the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. Only one person cannot bring the desired change. Going to Holy land is very crucial because it makes one morally transformed and spiritually rejuvenated and these are what we need now in the country”.
The NCPC scribe said due to the dwindling fortunes of revenue accruing to the country, the federal would henceforth cut its expenses for the sponsorship of pilgrims to Israel.
At the raffle draw coordinated by Governor Ayodele Fayose, represented by the Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka, an unemployed graduate, Mr. Segun Adeniran, Mr.  Olowoyo Emmanuel and two others won free trips to Israel.
Okpara said aside from Ekiti, the programme had been launched in Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Plateau States, where those who procured the N500 ticket had won and would be sponsored free to Israel.
The Executive Secretary added that the scheme, which was prosecuted by Fortune Game Limited, owned by Senator Ayo Arise, was coordinated by Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission and Christians’ Association of Nigeria for transparency and accountability.
“This is a very difficult time for Nigeria and we have to look inward. The federal government and the state governments can no longer bear the financial burden and that is the essence of this programme” he said.
Senator Arise, who described the exercise as very transparent, called on Nigerian to support the lofty scheme that would help in lessening the burden of holy pilgrimage sponsorship on government.
Arise added that the huge fund being budgeted by government at all levels for sponsorship of the annual exercise, would have been
diverted for other landmark projects if Nigerians could embrace the programme.
“This is a very challenging time in Nigeria. Both state and federal governments are gradually backing out of the sponsorship of holy pilgrimage, so this is a veritable avenue for poor Nigerians to participate in the programme and those who won shall be sponsored through the money gathered in the sale of tickets.”
Fayose, who lauded the commission for the initiative, appealed that the body should ensure the protection of the objective of the scheme, which is for spiritual rebirth and not fanfare.


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