Gambling With Pilgrims

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opara-1Anyone who knows the history behind the establishment of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, would be excused if he says the commission requires complete fumigation that must start with Kennedy John Opara, the executive secretary of the commission.

By Ovie Edomi

The world over, pilgrimages are used as a tool for moral rebirth and spiritual transformation, but in Nigeria, even as pilgrims grew from 2,000 to 20,000, the yearly exercise rather than remain the place for spiritual rebirth is gradually becoming a jamboree and by extension an albatross to the Federal government.

Ahead of the last Presidential election, one Reverend Ifeanyichukwu Epunam assembled 70 prophets through a private sector sponsorship and went to Jerusalem to pray for Nigeria and peaceful election.

In a meeting with Opara, NCPC pioneer, Executive Secretary, admonished them on the essence of the spiritual journey to the holy land.

Shortly after Epunam travelled to Jerusalem with the prophets, Opara who regularly meet with religious leaders for the purpose of promoting Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria is believed to have dragged many Christian leaders into campaigning for former President Goodluck Jonathan. Within the rank and file of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, some clerics saw the action of the NCPC boss as constituting smacks of bad faith and politics. When it dawned on the last administration that the unthinkable was going to happen and Buhari would win the election, funds were released to different christian groups and politicians. Opara was speculated to have played a key role in the sharing of the money considering his closeness to former President Jonathan but in an exclusive interview with the magazine, Opara noted:

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