Buhari has directed the immediate activation of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed by Nigeria with the State of Israel in 2013.
This is contained in a statement signed by Head of Media, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) Mr Celestine Ogugua, and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
It stated that the NCPC boss, Mr John-Kennedy Opara, disclosed this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja , recently before the departure of Niger, Kaduna and Adamawa States’ pilgrims to the holy land.
It stated that Opara commended the President for making it possible for the commission to fly pilgrims directly to Israel.
The statement said that the activation of the agreement would make flights from Nigeria to Israel for the intending pilgrims stress-free and reduce the long-hours’ flights for them to the holy land.
It said that apart from the spiritual benefits the pilgrims would derive from the exercise, the commission was partnering the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to train pilgrims.
The training would be in skills’ acquisition in agriculture related areas and leadership, it said.
It urged the intending pilgrims to pray for the country while in Israel.
The statement also said that Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger state had admonished the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and the state while in the holy land.
It stated that Bello cautioned them against defecting in Israel and advised them to pray for the state government.