By Mercy Obojeghren
The Delta Government has announced a N10 million fine for sponsors and guarantors of pilgrims in the state whose candidates abscond during pilgrimage.
The state Commissioner for the Bureau for Special Duties, Mr Ernest Ogwezzy, said this on Wednesday in Asaba while speaking with Newsmen shortly after a one-day orientation workshop for the 2018 intending pilgrims to the Holy land.
Ogwezzy said that the N10 million fine was part of the stringent measures adopted by the state government to check incidences of absconment during pilgrimages.
He said such measures had become imperative following ugly experiences where some individuals under the guise of embarking on holy exercise end up absconding.
“The experience is gradually worsening the already battered image of the country abroad,’’ he said.
Ogwezzy also said that greater percentage of those who absconded in the state in the previous years were not indigenes of the state, “ but are part of the contingent of the state.’’
The commissioner had earlier congratulated those who were successful during the screening and urged them to uphold the sanctity of their Christian faith by remaining good ambassadors of the state and country at large.
Ogwezzy also advised them to avoid any occurrence that was capable of tarnishing the image of the state and country.
He urged them to use the opportunity to review their spiritual lives as well as pray for the peace and unity of the state and country.
The commissioner assured the pilgrims that the state government would continue to prioritise the sponsorship of pilgrimages in the state irrespective of the prevailing economic crunch.