The National Planning Committee in-charge of Ghanaian Pilgrims to Israel is to be reconstituted to promote efficient service delivery to whip up interest among the public.
Mr S. K. Boafo, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture who announced this when he welcomed home eleven Ghanaians who undertook the pilgrimage to Israel said the move had become necessary since registration and awareness creation was slow after the launch of the programme in April this year.
The programme was an initiative of the Ministry of Chieftaincy, Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations in conjunction with Sun Seekers and Star-line Travel and Tours to send people to Israel, especially Christians to build their faith.
He said though the pilgrimage was scheduled for July this year, it had to be postponed to November 16, due to low patronage; "Letters were sent to various churches to inform their congregations about the pilgrimage".
He said forty-three persons registered, including five Parliamentarians who went through vetting after which their visas were processed.
Mr Boafo said thirty-two persons qualified for visas and were asked to pay 1,950 dollars each which catered for visa fees, accommodation, local transportation and meals and added that fourteen people paid the amount but three could not participate.
He said the ministry would not allow fronting by any individual or organisation, adding; "I wish to emphasize here that this will not be tolerated.”
Apostle Ofosu Anim, spokesperson for the pilgrims recounted some wonderful experiences and adventurous engagements, especially visits to places like Jesus' birthplace, his father's carpentry shop, Canan where he did his first miracle (turning water into wine), river Jordan and the Dead Sea.
He observed that though Jerusalem was a rocky city, inhabitants were able to farm using the irrigation systems, which exemplified hard work and encouraged Ghanaians to be patriotic in service to humanity.