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Enugu pilgrims board commences screening of applicants

By The Citizen
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Enugu State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board has commenced screening of the 2013 intending pilgrims to Israel, the Chairman of the board, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, said.

He told newsmen on Monday in Enugu that the screening was to ascertain those who were fit and those who were unfit for the journey.

Chukwuma, who is also the Anglican Bishop of Enugu, noted that the exercise would ensure a successful pilgrimage and reduce emergency cases during the holy trip.

The chairman said that the three-day screening was for all those embarking on the pilgrimage, namely those sponsored by state and local governments, as well as self sponsored persons.

“Today (Oct. 14) is the first day of the screening. We are screening the prospective pilgrims for high bloodpPressure, pregnancy and other diseases.

“We want to make sure that they are physically fit to embark on the journey so that we do not disgrace our country over there.

“We are also looking out for people who are above 70 years old so that we can stop them from embarking on the trip because of its tedious nature.

“We can only give concession if we find out that they are physically okay.''

Some of the intending pilgrims applauded the board for the screening, saying it was in the interest of the people and the country at large.

Mrs Miriam Anyaefena, an intending pilgrim, said the screening was to the advantage of most of them as many have yet to know their status.

Another intending pilgrim, Mr Ikem Odenigbo, said the screening would help the board to detect the unfit ones among them.

He commended the state government for sponsoring some of them, saying the journey would be a remarkable experience in his life.

“This is a life time opportunity for me because it will uplift my spiritual life.''

The  screening committee included officials of the board from both the state and Abuja.

The pilgrims are expected to leave the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, to Israel in November.