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LAWMAKER DECRIES DISQUALIFICATION OF INTENDING PILGRIMS

By NBF News

A lawmaker in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Jones Ogbonda has decried the disqualification of some intending pilgrims from the state by the National Pilgrims Commission on the grounds that their organisations do not belong to the Christian Association of Nigeria.

Ogbonda called on the commission to put an end to such act, which he described as discriminatory and against the Constitution of the country.

Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, the member, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Pilgrims Welfare Board, Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, recalled how he discussed the matter with an official of the commission on the need to desist from disqualifying intending pilgrims.

He, however, expressed surprise that the commission had refused to change even after his discussion with its top official on the matter.

He said, 'I have heard reports of certain intending pilgrims being disqualified by the committee sent from the National Pilgrims Commission in Abuja on the grounds that their Christian organizations don't belong to CAN.

'I condemn the action of the committee sent from Abuja by the National Pilgrims Commission that has employed external factors in determining who is qualified to go to the Holy land. It is condemnable, discriminatory.

'I can recall that a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church was not allowed to attend the pilgrimage because they alleged that her organization was not a member of CAN.'