Tor Uja, executive secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), says 100 people absconded during the 2017 pilgrimage to Israel.
Uja made the disclosure when he received a security report of the 2017 pilgrimage on Monday in Abuja.
The executive secretary said a serving soldier, a police inspector and a lecturer were among those who absconded.
While explaining that the pilgrims absconded during pilgrimage as a result of their “colonial mindset”, he said the commission has decided to increase the security surveillance during the exercise to check against such occurrences.
“It is time to build this country and to give it foundation; it is time to give this country a character; it is time to give this country a vision and a hope,” Uja said.
“It is time to make Nigerians to know that our land is a land of great opportunities. We have more opportunities in Nigeria than in America and in Israel.
“We have better land than anywhere else, what we are going to get is a revitalisation to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ afresh and to have a revamping of our spiritual lives.”
Earlier, Emmanuel Nega, a major general and chairman of the security committee, said the recommendations in the report would ensure the safety of pilgrims and prevent them from absconding.
The committee has 18 members made up of the army, airforce, police, immigration service, Department of State and Security (DSS) and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).