Abia Spends N400m On Xtian Pilgrims


The Abia Government has spent more than N400 million on the sponsorship of  1,235 pilgrims to Jerusalem in the last three years.

The  Secretary to the State Government, Mr Donatus Okorie, said this on Monday in Umuahia at a thanksgiving service for  the 2007, 2008 and 2009 contingents to Jerusalem.

Okorie, who disclosed that government was spending about  N400,000 on a pilgrim, said the sponsorship would continue even in the face of  dwindling resources.

He reiterated  government’s  determination to increase the number of  pilgrims in order to  improve the spiritual lives of  people.

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Earlier, the Chairman of  Association of  Jerusalem Pilgrims in the state, Rev. Ndeke Dimanochie, had  urged the Christian Pilgrims Board to consider the plight of  those who had been applying without success  in the last 10  years.

He regretted that the number of  pilgrims being sponsored by the state government  had been dropping on yearly basis.

Also speaking, Gov. Theodore Orji said  sponsorship of  pilgrims would now be a joint effort of  local and state governments in order to increase the number of contingent.

He, however, said this year’s  exercise may witness a reduction  in the number of  pilgrims due to the lean finances of the state.

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