NCPC boss requests Israeli ambassador’s support on visa issuance

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Bishop Stephen Adegbite, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, has requested the cooperation of Israel’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, to expedite the granting of visas to prospective pilgrims for the 2024 trip.

Adegbite made the appeal while paying a courtesy visit to the Ambassador’s office in Abuja on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

The Secretary emphasized that Israel remained the pilgrimage destination, and that the Commission continued to pray for Israel’s peace.

“Israel is our pride in Africa and Nigeria in particular, we pray for the peace of Israel every day, and we will continue to pray for peace in Israel so that we can continue our pilgrimage exercise in the land of the Bible,” he went on to say.

He claimed that Nigerians visit Israel not only for spiritual reasons, but also for agricultural objectives and to learn about the country’s modern technologies.

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The NCPC boss expressed his joy to hear from the Ambassador that Israel has opened its borders for international travel, and notified the ambassador that the Commission would prepare to visit the country.

“I am so happy to hear that Israel will soon open; yesterday during my assumption I spoke by faith that Israel will open soon, and this is a confirmation that God is working ,” he was quoted as saying.

He intimated that the Commission intended to take some executive Christians in government on pilgrimage to Israel, implying that Senator Oluremi TInubu, the First Lady of the Federal Republic, would lead the delegation during Easter this year.

In his remarks, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, thanked the Commission’s Secretary for his visit and vowed to work with the NCPC’s leadership to streamline visa procurement processes.

“I think you have done well visiting Israel first, I bring you good news, Israel is open and ready to take the Nigerian groups,” Ambassador Freeman remarked.

He also stated that the Embassy has confidence in the NCPC’s methodology for selecting intended pilgrims to Israel.

The Israeli government recently pledged its cooperation in all areas to enhance Nigeria’s enforcement system.

Olukayode Egbetokun, the Inspector-General of Police, hosted the Israel Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, and his entourage in his Abuja office.

During the visit, Egbetokun informed the Ambassador about the new Nigeria Police Special Intervention Squad, which is the IG’s pet initiative to combat crimes and criminality, particularly violent crimes, across the country.

He asked the ambassador to launch a collaborative agenda for training and retraining, idea sharing, intelligence collecting, and human capacity building.

Consequently, the Israeli envoy promised to help Nigeria improve its enforcement system.

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