Tragedy struck in far away Turkey on Wednesday as a Bishop of the Anglican Church and Christian pilgrim from Niger State, Bishop Peter Olukayode, died while on transit to Israel for this year’s Christian pilgrimage to the Holy land. News of the incident emerged yesterday as the spokesman of the Niger State Committee on 2013 Christian Pilgrimage, Mr. Ilya Garba, informed journalists in an interview in Minna, that the late bishop was a leading motivator for the pilgrims, hours to their departure.
“The clergyman had been motivating other pilgrims in his bus from Minna to Abuja for their flight and continued doing so, until their departure for the first leg of the flight.
“The bishop was said to have slumped on their arrival at Ankara Airport inTurkey and the medical team administered first aid treatment before he was taken to the hospital.
“Unfortunately, he was confirmed dead at the hospital while treatment was being administered to him and his corpse has been deposited at the hospital,’’ he said.
Garba stated that the head of the medical team, Dr Joseph Kolo, informed the committee that the late bishop had undergone rigorous medical examination and declared fit for the trip.
He said the remains of the deceased clergyman would be returned to Nigeria at the weekend and released to the family members for burial.
He said also that the head of the delegation, Mr Abraham Yisa, had condoled with the family over the bishop’s death and prayed that God grants the departed soul eternal rest.
Garba said 286 pilgrims from the state left the country for Israel on Altas Desk Airlines from Abuja via Ankara to Tel Aviv in Israel for this year’s pilgrimage.
He said the second batch of the pilgrims would depart Nigeria on Saturday October 26, 2013