Organizers of Nigeria's state-sponsored pilgrimages for Christians are patting themselves on the back for a smooth year in which not one pilgrim absconded to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Rome, or other destinations.
However, they also announced that no new slots are available for this year's Easter pilgrimages.
The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims' Commission (NCPC) has announced that it sent approximately 20,000 Nigerians on religious pilgrimages in 2012, and expects to send almost 2,700 Christians on Easter pilgrimages to Rome this year; however, the available Easter slots will all be filled by the backlog caused by last-minute flooding last year.
"Last year was very unique because for the first time, the flood affected our operation," said NCPC executive Secretary John Kennedy Opara at a press conference, according to This Day. "Most states were unable to pay, and in fact most of those states are going to form the bulk of pilgrims that we are going to carry from February to March as part of the Easter ...1