The governor of Gombe State, Inuwa Yahaya, has assured of his administration’s commitment to provide support for successful and hitch-free Christian pilgrimage exercises.
The governor stated this on Monday in a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Yakubu Pam, who paid him a courtesy visit in Gombe.
He said in spite of the over N250 million unsettled claims left by the previous government for the State Pilgrims Welfare Board, his government is committed to providing Christians in the State the opportunity and needed support to undertake their spiritual journey.
“This Government inherited a liability of about 120 billion in a state that is just about 3.2 million, so spread it per capita on the citizens and you can imagine what it is.
“And that is just for the liabilities that were booked and recorded. Issues to do with unsettled liabilities of pilgrimage of close to 250 million Naira were not part of our assessment.”
He said despite the challenges, his government will make sure it continues to fulfil its obligations to provide support to those who wish to perform their pilgrimage.
The governor appreciated the leadership of the NCPC for their choice of Gombe to host the North East Zonal meeting and to also flag-off the next pilgrimage to Jerusalem, noting that this would not have been possible without the peace and tranquillity the State enjoys, as well as its centrality and neutrality.
He said in spite of the cosmopolitan nature of Gombe, the state remains peaceful, attributing the feat to the government’s proactiveness and the understanding of the people.
“I can beat my chest to say that peace doesn’t bring itself, we worked for it and God answered our prayers and gave us peace, so we shall continue to work assiduously to guard and protect the peace and the human resources of the State for the benefit of our people”.
The governor, who decried the setback caused by COVID-19 pandemic to the global economy, said the novel Coronavirus is a wakeup call for Nigeria and Nigerians to do the right thing.