The first Christian pilgrims from Kaduna State were airlifted from the state airport to Israel.
The airlift was witnessed by the state Governor, Ramalan Yero, who led other top officials of the state government to bid the intending pilgrims farewell at the airport.
Speaking at the airport, Governor Yero said his administration increased the number of Christian pilgrims being sponsored by the state from 468 in 2013 to 567 in 2014.
The governor cautioned the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in the Holy Land.
“You must not indulge in any action capable of tarnishing the image of Kaduna State and Nigeria,” he said. “I urge you to use the period of the holy pilgrimage to pray for peace in the country, especially as we approach the 2015 general elections.”
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, John Opara, praised Governor Yero for his support to the Christian pilgrimage exercise in Kaduna State.
He applauded Mr. Yero for making it possible for the pilgrims to fly from the state airport for the first time to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage.