Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:30 pm
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will depart Lagos Friday to undertake a brief pilgrimage to Israel, the second time he will perform the non-compulsory rites for Christian faithful.
The President will be accompanied by the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba and his principal aides, a statement by Reuben Abati, his media adviser said.
In addition to visiting Christian Holy sites, Jonathan will join other Nigerian pilgrims in a prayer session for the well-being and progress of the country at an Inter-Denominational Service in Jerusalem on Sunday.
He is expected back in Abuja on Monday.
Last year October, President Jonathan also led a large government entourage to Jerusalem, going into the record books as the first Nigerian Christian leader to perform such a religious rite. General Yakubu Gowon, General Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Ernest Sonekan, all presided over Nigeria before, but they never went on Christian pilgrimage.
In his entourage last year were eight governors, seven ministers and three members of the National Assembly.
It was not clear whether the president will invite the governors to Jerusalem this time around.
Before leaving for Israel, President Jonathan will participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post on Friday morning.
The President will be joined at the event by President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic and officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post is being constructed under the ECOWAS Transport Facilitation Programme which has the objective of boosting trade and economic relations among member countries.