The road to Jerusalem

Three theories emerge: hate, ignorance, and mischief. They are all reflected in the evil and misguided write up accredited to one faceless Dele Agekameh. None of these is the road to Jerusalem.
When Haman set out to eliminate a race, he chose to first hate the spiritual leader of that race called Mordecai (Esther 3.1 – 11), and with him destroy all his people. Hate is usually a deep inner evil that may show first on one man, and then envelop a people, or group, or society.Agekameh’s article, written in very vile language, is evidence of hate that has the dressing of ignorance and mischief. He has equally made a poor show of masquerading his three demons.

He has demonstrated uncanny haltred for the Rev. Uja Tor Uja, whom he escribed as a “Self-styled Rev.” What! Did he know that Rev. Uja has been preaching for nearly 50 years? Anyway, hate can do anything crass.  Whoever it is that he is representing hates Rev Uja passionately and is willing to roll up his garment of lies to present his evil fingers.
He hates Christians and Christianity, and is recklessly ignorant of what the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) does, stands for, and how it operates. Of course, he knows nothing about Rev Uja or his board.Agekameh is clearly steeped in mischief, seeking attention and probably favours from those whom he is blackmailing with falsehoods, criminal innuendoes, and defamation allegations.

Those of us who know the NCPC a bit more closely are stupefied by this kind of write-up which has no place in a reputable newspaper, and yet sneaked itself into a back-page. The write-up does not have or give any information; it merely casts aspersions on well-meaning Nigerians who are working well for Nigeria.
The author is clearly a hired hand, and sets out to insult high ranking officials in the caliber of permanent secretaries whom he labels with malicious falsehoods, which of course are not and cannot be substantiated.
Then he goes on a wild goose chase, alleging that Rev Uja was running the commission single-handedly before the board was inaugurated. He and his cohorts do not know the commission at all.
First, no money, to my knowledge, has been lost at NCPC. If any were, the states, who are major stakeholders in the pilgrimage project, would have cried out long ago. No state, to my knowledge, has complained of losing any money.
Rather Rev Uja has made life easy for states and their pilgrims by paying their BTA through NCPC funds when CBN is not available to do so. A good example is  the last pilgrimage, 2018-2019, when NCPC, through Rev Uja, paid the BTA for the pilgrims of all the 36 states ad Abuja.    This was a feat which the federal government through the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation commended. No money has been lost at NCPC, instead money has been saved.
The commission, to my knowledge, has always had a board. Rev Uja came into NCPC in May 2016 and met the board led by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, which had been there since 2008. Uja worked with that board until it was dissolved December 28, 2016, 20 months after Uja arrived. The Kasali led board only came on February 28, 2018, two months after the dissolution of the earlier board.
Rev. Uja never acted alone but with a board, and he remains close to Archbishop Okoh with whom they still relate very well to this day.
The new board has never issued a query to Uja, a man in whom they are well pleased; never asked for his suspension or removal; and never engaged him in a fight on any subject. It is not for me to speak on this, so I will leave it for the board to clear its name of these sultry, evil, and mischievous allegations.
Would the Chairman, Rev Kasali, be the one fighting ES Tor Uja, as alleged by the so-called Dele Agakameh? It would be irresponsible, futile, and rascally for a chairman to be writing falsehoods against the commission he chairs in an effort to fight the chief executive, if Agekameh’s assertions are to be considered. No reasonable man would take this stand, especially if he is a pastor, and chairman of a board. Kasali is alive and would come clean on Dele’s claims when he is ready.
The author, either ignorantly or in deliberate mischief, speaks about the Public Procurement Act (PPA) without giving any details. The Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) rates NCPC as an agency with one of the best procurement records – transparency, due process compliance, value for money spent, and good record keeping. Nothing is wrong with the commission.
It is wild to recklessly speculate that things are wrong in the commission without a single example. There is none to site.
Tor Uja is running NCPC admirably. He has changed NCPC story from tourism to pilgrimage; from adventure to development; from individualism to inclusion. The commission can never be the same again with his positive drive.
After rabble-rousing, Agekameh concludes that Uja was advised to resign. By who?  For what? We are not aware of these spurious claims.
Agekameh now concludes that a land the commission intends to buy has been inflated by 500 percent. Why swim in the ocean when you can walk on the land?  Why not go to Aso Bank and verify? Why not cross-check with valuers to know the truth?
“The board chairman (Rev. Kasali) was initially the arrow head of the probe of ES activities”, say Agekameh. You should have interviewed the chairman to ascertain his place, not assume that he is behind the noises at the commission.
We urge Rev Uja to continue his good work at the commission, which Nigerians and indeed foreigners have been impressed with. He is the chief executive of the commission, and owes responsibilities over its affairs. Many of us look to him for the repositioning of Nigeria through the elegant process he has put in place for pilgrimage and NCPC.
Shalom, Rev Uja, Shalom. Keep going stronger. Jerusalem is standing up for you.
Yakubu writes from Kaduna.

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