Nine Months After: Federal Government Still Unable To Appoint Head For The Christian Pilgrim Commission

The Nigerian Christian Piligrims Commission Logo

On today’s news, information reaching us from one of our source in Nigeria has it that the federal government of Nigeria is yet to find a replacement for the position of Head, Christian Pilgrim Commission nine months after the removal of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Rev. Tor Ujah. Ever since the removal of Ujah on August, 2019, the administration of the commission has been under the sole leadership of the Director of Administration in the commission Mrs. Esther Kwaghe. She is handling this position only in an acting capacity until the government appoints a new head for the commission.

According to a statement by a state official of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who asked to be anonymous said that CAN have no direct responsibility for the Christian Pilgrim Commission. He said statutorily that the commission is under the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SDF) and as a Christian, the Vice President can have a little measure of influence over the affairs of the commission. Our source gathered that the activities of the Commission has been slowed down due to the uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the commission.

Furthermore, the individual who is presently overseeing the affairs of the commission is said to be acting only as “director in charge” thereby placing the person in a very restricted capacity to delegate and carry out the functions required of the executive secretary of the commission. The acting position does not allow certain decisions to be taken and certain conclusions made in order to enhance the effectiveness of the commission. From the onset, the position as acting director in charge places the individual in a very critical limitations where the individual does practically nothing without referring to the board. With the removal of the executive secretary, the federal government promised that a substantive head would soon be appointed.

Former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Tor Ujah

This confirmation came in a statement noting the removal and immediate sack of Ujah which was signed by the Director of Information, Mr. Willie Bassey, at the office of the Secretary to the government of the federation. According to him, the removal of the executive secretary was in line with the provision of Section 4, sub-section 3 of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission Act. According to a statement by the Chairman of the Commission, Pastor Yomi Kasali, it is the responsibility of the president to appoint a substantive executive secretary for the commission.

Information also exist of vacancy in similar position at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

This position was filled by the federal government when it became more crucial for them to do so. The whole situation rally on the fact that the position at the Christian Pilgrims Commissioner became vacant in August 2019, just months before that of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria which became vacant in November 2019. Reacting to the issue, the federal government said it will soon appoint a head as it is still looking for a substantive replacement for the position.

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