Reports have revealed the identities of those who absconded while on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Those who absconded, according to the reports, include a serving soldier, a police inspector and a lecturer in a Federal Government owned tertiary institution.
The reports also revealed that unlike the pilgrims in Israel, those who went to Greece and Rome did not abscond.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Tor Uja had in Abuja said no fewer than 100 Christian pilgrims absconded in Israel during the 2017 pilgrimage.
The NCPC boss said that the 100 pilgrims who absconded were from five states in the country. Though he did not disclose the names of the states, he described as “red flag”.
However, Uja did not disclose the full names of the absconders, adding that the pilgrims absconded during pilgrimage as a result of their colonial mind-set.
He explained that as part of the efforts of the commission to check pilgrims from absconding, the commission has decided to increase the security surveillance during pilgrimage.
In order to check defection of pilgrims while in the Holy Land, he explained that NCPC would intensify its screening mechanism to bring defection to an end.
Uja revealed that the commission has come up with stringent measures that would discourage pilgrims from absconding.
These include black listing states with penchant to abscond, publishing the names of absconders and their guarantors in national newspapers, and prosecuting them eventually.
Continuing, he said: “It is time to build this country and to give it foundation; it is time to give this country a character; it is time to give this country a vision and a hope. It is time to make Nigerians to know that our land is a land of great opportunities.
“We have more opportunities in Nigeria than in America and in Israel. We have better land than anywhere else, what we are going to get is a revitalisation to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ afresh and to have a revamping of our spiritual lives”.