The 26 intending Christian pilgrims from Edo State have been advised by the state government to resist the temptation to abscond from the Holy land during the pilgrimage.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Osarodion Ogie, gave the advice during the 2018 Pre-Pilgrimage Orientation/Retreat held at the Government House, Benin, on Thursday.
Ogie, represented by the Head of Service in the state, Mr Isaac Ehiozuwa, said Edo recorded no case of absconding of pilgrims in the 2017.
The SSG called for a repeat of the situation as government would not tolerate anything in the contrary.
“The evil of absconding is that it puts our nation and state in bad light and also affects our relationship with the host country,” he said.
He pledged the state government’s support to the pilgrims and said it would always safeguard their interest during the visit to the holy land.
He said government would provide the needed logistics to enable the pilgrims to be spiritually and morally transformed positively to contribute their quota to the development of their families, the state and the nation.
Also counseling the pilgrims on good behavior while in Israel and Rome, Bishop Oyonnude Kure, Chairman, Edo Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, said pilgrimage was not for tourism and business purposes.
Kure said the retreat was aimed at correcting all the wrong impressions concerning the journey.
“It is to fulfill God’s injunction. The journey is a rest with the Lord and for us to seek his face.
The chairman appreciated the Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, for graciously providing all the needed finances and logistics for a successful 2018 pilgrimage.