The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja, has advocated for enhanced partnership with Greece in the area of visa procurement, pilgrimage participation and economic cooperation.
Uja made the call in a statement signed by Mr Celestine Ogugua, Head Media, NCPC, and made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
The NCPC boss disclosed this when he visited the Consul General, Embassy of Greece, Mr Lykourgos Antonio Kuplanis.
The NCPC boss solicited the assistance of the Consul General on visa facilitation and procurement for intending pilgrims to Greece.
He explained that because of the nature of Christian pilgrimage operations, there was need to fast track the visa processes, especially by decentralising the biometrics capturing of intending pilgrims.
A picture taken on January 1, 2016 shows the nine-metre tall statue of Jesus Christ carved from white marble, thought to be the biggest of its kind in Africa, unveiled in Abajah, southeastern Nigeria.
Standing barefoot with arms outstretched, the “Jesus de Greatest” statue weighs in at 40 tonnes. More than 100 priests and hundreds of Catholic worshippers attended the nine-metre (30-foot) statue’s official unveiling in the village of Abajah in southeastern Nigeria. It was commissioned by Obinna Onuoha, a local businessman who hired a Chinese company to carve it and placed it in the grounds of a 2000-capacity church that he built in 2012. / AFP
“Our biggest challenge is how we can resolve biometrics capturing,’’ he said.
The executive secretary further informed the envoy that in the coming year the Commission would begin to organise pilgrimage specifically for Greece.
He thanked the Consul General for the cooperation the Commission had enjoyed under his leadership.
Rev. Uja further stressed that the time for enhanced partnership with Greece has come and it must be holistic.
“We want to increase our interaction; we want Greece to go back to the Bible.
“We want a greater linkage; I want us to increase our work with Greece.
“Greece is the bedrock of the development of Christianity in the whole world”.
Uja said that because of the strategic spiritual importance of Greece he would organise the clergy and take them to Greece to pray for the revival of the ancient city. Also speaking, Mr Kuplanis thanked the NCPC boss for the visit and assured him a better working relationship.
He explained that the only way visas could be issued fast to intending pilgrims was to plan ahead by applying early enough to avoid eleventh hour rush.
NCPC pilgrimage circle aside Israel currently covers Greece and Rome.