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FCT Pilgrims Record Six Years Of Zero Absconding – Director  

The FCT Christian Welfare Board has recorded six years of the sojourn to the Holy Land without any case of abscondment within her fold.In a chat with Journalists at the weekend in Abuja, the Director, FCT Christian Welfare Board, John Dabara, said that the board was able to achieve the feat following its uncompromising stance on the implementation of laid down security protocols especially during the selection and vetting process. He said that all intending pilgrim are made to go through a thorough background and security checks that only those with clean records and good intentions can sail through.While acknowledging that the exercise is highly spiritual, Dabara said that the Board in nearly a decade has not recorded any unfortunate incident amongst her pilgrims during the religious trip.Dabara said that despite the peculiarity of FCT Pilgrims, the contingent from the nation’s capital have been adjudged the best in the country by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission.”As it is now, we have gotten tools where we check them (intending pilgrims), we screen them based on the forms they submitted even in their absence.”We judge the information you give to us. Once we have convicted you on the form we’ll keep it aside. Then we will call you to appear physically and this time around, we’ll handover the screening to the Police, Department of State Services (DSS), NCPC, Immigration Service or on the bases of what you submitted. And then the last screening we do is when we are now on transit, even at the airport. There are some parameters we will see and we will know that this one has the potentials to abscond.”The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello, he knows pilgrimage very well. Whenever we submit our report to him, he will always put us on our toes and in fact give us lectures, clues with suggestions on how to mitigate the issues of absconding.”By the grace of God, in our last Conference of States meeting in 2022 at the National Headquarters NCPC, the Executive Secretary was directing other states to come to FCT and learn how we organise the pilgrimage because here is very delicate.”If you go to Plateau state, almost all of the people performing pilgrimage in Plateau are from the state. If you go to Lagos almost all the people who are performing pilgrimage are Yorubas and from Lagos. In all the states you have indigenous people doing it, but here in FCT it’s a mix of people from every tribe in the country because it is seen as a point of unity. You hardly know the kind of person you’re interacting with.”He said that aside the security checks carried out on the intending pilgrims, the board also talks to God in prayers to guide them in the selection process to ensure that only those that will represent Nigeria in good light makes the list of pilgrims.While noting the importance of pilgrimage in the life of a Christian, the Director said that the exercise is more of spiritual than the physical for a believer.He said that the soul cleansing exercise is the best avenue for one to connect with his or her creator.Dabara who said that the just concluded 2022 pilgrimage which rounded up two days to the general elections was very significant to Nigerians, revealed that it played a vital role toward ensuring the peace enjoyed before during and after the elections in the country. He disclosed that all the Pilgrims took time to pray for the peace of the nation, this is as he advised that Nigerians should continue praying for the leaders as directed in the Holy Books. He reminded Nigerians that power only comes from God as He alone has the power to make one a leader.

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