Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says government would not use tax payers money to subsidize Pilgrimage.
Oshiomhole was speaking yesterday when he granted audience to the Zonal Federal Commissioners and officials of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission at Government House, Benin City.
According to the Governor “for those who want to travel for pilgrimage, we cannot discourage them. But what I am not ready to do is to take tax payers money to subsidize someone who wishes to go and pray. I have issues with that because people who pay taxes work so hard to pay”.
Oshiomhole noted “if you look at the totality of the challenges that we face, many are homeless; so many communities without water, many schools we have rebuilt and still many more to be done; so many people are unemployed; many are hungry; quite a number are in hospital who are not able to pay their bills. When you look at all these and several other problems, I am of the conclusion that pilgrimage is not a priority”.
Oshiomhole said “I have a deeper insight into the challenges that confront the Nigerian nation and even Edo State and I have come to the conclusion that pilgrimage is a luxury. Even from the point of view of the poor, a man who has no roof over his head cannot be spiritually uplifted if he goes to Isreal and returns to a state of homeless”.
The governor declared “it happens to be an issue that I feel very strongly about when we subsidize pilgrimage. I would rather subsidize production, subsidize education; subsidize health care because these are central to the survival of our people. So this is an issue to which I have very strong position”.