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First Batch Of Accra pilgrims leave For Mecca

The first batch of Hajj pilgrims in Accra leaving Ghana for Mecca in Saudi Arabia have taken off at the Kotoka International Airport.

The 472 pilgrims on board are to arrive in Saudi Arabia at 18:00 GMT.

Addressing the media at the Hajj Village in Accra, the Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board Sheikh I.C Quaye stated that the board has made adequate arrangements to ensure a successful and stress – free Hajj pilgrimage this year.

He indicated that issues on transportation, accommodation and feeding have been taken care of to ensure comfort of pilgrims.

He disclosed that Saudi Arabia authorities have provided brand new luxurious first class buses to ferry Ghanaian pilgrims to and from various destinations during the hajj activities.

He revealed that the Hajj Board have expanded its tents in Mina to pave way for the medical team to assist in healthcare adding that for the first time in the history of Hajj, the board have provided a Da’wa team (Islamic Scholars) to guide and also assist pilgrims on matters related to hajj.

He further revealed that most people go to Hajj and spend all their money hence the need for the board to provide food for the pilgrims through out their stay in Mecca.

According to him the board has over the years been confronted with peculiar challenge where Ghanaians in the Diaspora take over hotels and other facilities meant for the pilgrims who travelled from Ghana.

This, according to him, prompted the board to request for its own security personnel from Ghana to curb the situation, which Saudi Arabia Authorities have accepted.

The board, he said, has deploy the services of selected security agents from immigration, police, military and the fire service, who have undergone training and orientation at Bundase on how to work as a team.

He revealed that activities of pilgrims who travel on their own create wrong impression that Ghanaian pilgrims get stranded in Mecca when that is not the truth.

He stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo – Addo’s government is concern with Muslim and has added 4500 Ghana Cedis to enable Muslims to go to Mecca and perform hajj in comfort.

According to him, the previous government left behind dept which nearly had Ghana blacklisted in Hajj activities.

The chairman called on Ghanaian pilgrims to pray for the country and devoid of any act that will shame the country.

Source: Muhammed Faisel Mustapha

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