About 25 out of the 137 intending Christian Pilgrims for this year’s, 2018, pilgrimage from Gombe State have been denied visas by the Israeli authorities.
Joseph Iliya Bega, the executive secretary of the Gombe State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, who revealed this on Sunday, December 30, 2018, during the farewell ceremony of the Pilgrims explained that no reason was given by Israel for the denial.
He explained however that the affected Pilgrims have been pleaded upon and were asked to forward names of their choices to replace them within the next four days from Monday, December 31, 2018.
Joseph also stated that another eight other Pilgrims had a delay in acquiring their visas but explained that the delay in the visas can only delay their departure but will not deny them the pilgrimage exercise.
In his farewell speech, the Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Charles Iliya urged the intending Pilgrims to be worthy ambassadors of Gombe State and Nigeria by ensuring high sense of humility, responsibility and dedication to the Almighty God.
He called on them to “avoid all forms of evil vices such as drug trafficking, abscondment or any act of indiscipline that will negatively portray the image of our beloved State and country”.
He also cautioned them to be careful with whom they converse with and what they say, shun sensitive diplomatic discussion and always conduct their affairs with discipline.
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