General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
Government has rescheduled it’s much hyped Christian pilgrimage to Israel.
The Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and religious affairs, Paul Essien in a Citi News interview blamed it on some administrative challenges.
The first set of pilgrims were to take off over the weekend, July 15 with one hundred participants but they will now embark on the trip on August 12, 2017.
Government has been heavily criticized for the much hyped trip with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs leading it.
But the Ministry had stressed that government was only facilitating the trip and not funding it.
Mr Essien in the interview said the pilgrims are currently being screened ahead of the journey.
“We have not postponed the programme but it is the extension of the time in terms of the departure date. There was a little bit of administrative delays and other things that resulted in the delay in the departure time. As I speak with you, we are on the screening [of the pilgrims] and we will be done soon. The new date for us to depart from Ghana is on August 12, 2017,” added.
He noted that although the government of Israel does not accept such huge number of pilgrims at a go, because the Ghana government is facilitating it, the Israel government has approved the trip.
“..They don’t guarantee this large number, but when we guarantee this number and we take them there then we bring them back, we have agreed with the Israeli government. So we want to do it and see how best it will work well so that the mutual agreement between the two countries will be well reached and going forward I think it will be a very good programme,” he added.