Netizens have lashed back at the Anambra State Government for announcing the change of the destination for the Pilgrimage for Christians in the state, from Israel to Rome and Greece.
A statement on behalf of the State Government signed by Principal Executive Officer of the State Christian Pilgrims Office, Felicia Uzoma, and the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Pilgrims, Barr Obiora Nweke, had over the weekend, made the announcement.
The statement cited the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has led to several casualties, as a major reason for the change.
It read; “Due to the current situation in the region, particularly the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the Anambra State Christian Pilgrims Office, in consultation with the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) in Abuja, Nigeria, has made the decision to alter our pilgrimage plans.
“Instead of traveling to Israel as initially planned, we will now embark on a spiritually enriching journey to Rome and Greece. This change in destination ensures your safety and peace of mind during this sacred pilgrimage.
“The board said Rome and Greece hold immense historical and spiritual significance, offering an opportunity for profound experiences and deeper connections to the Christian faith.
“We are excited about the rich cultural heritage and the spiritual encounters that await us in these destinations.
“We understand that this change might bring about some adjustments, but we are committed to ensuring that your pilgrimage remains a fulfilling and meaningful journey.”
However, upon publication of the media handles of the state government, citizens of the state have tackled the state government for still going ahead to talk about the pilgrimage, despite the challenges experienced in Israel.
The majority of them believe there is no need for the government to assist anybody embarking on such an adventure in the name of spiritual rejuvenation in Israel.
According to them, Israel does not in any way, reflect the true disposition of Christianity, evident in their sustenance of the war in Gaza, against the principles of forgiveness and love.
A netizen, Chimezie Okezie, who tagged the State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo in his reaction, wrote “Must they travel out for spiritual cleansing, what are you cleaning. This is a total waste of resources. Channel that huge amount of money, if possible to empower 20 Youths from Anambra state. How many times did the Roman people come to Anambra state for cleansing, shebi Nigeria is the most religious country in the world?”
Another person, Benjamin Ogugua said; “This is a great opportunity for cheaper Japa.”
Yet another comment by Johnson Uchenna said, “I really don’t understand why the government keeps on spending huge amounts of money to sponsor this jamboree to the so-called holy land. I know people who went there and came 10 times more wicked than they were before they left. There is no significance whatsoever in this exercise and considering the very harsh economic condition we are faced with in the state, our government should look towards deploying those monies it would have used to finance those jamboree, to better gainful ventures that will impact the citizens. Anyone who wishes to embark on such jamboree should sponsor them with their own monies, period!”
For Chidi Igbodi, “Israel for me, holds no Christian significance whatsoever because a country that goes ahead to declare war and kill many people in retaliation of the October 7 attack on its citizens, is not living out the true nature of Christ which is forgiveness. How can they come out to preach to their enemies about Christ? I see a total overhaul of the original tenets of Christianity as exemplified by Christ himself and the world today is hailing the nation of Israel. For our government to continue to expend huge amounts of money to support this total sham, is quite unfortunate. Governor Soludo promised that every kobo of the state under his watch must count. If the state government goes ahead to fund this futile venture, then he would have failed woefully as regards that promise.”