2014 HAJJ: So Far, So Good

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…But Cola-Nuts, Pomade, And Unacceptable Items Seized

By Alhaji Bashiru Zakari, Hajj Village

As at Monday, September 22, 2014, the National Hajj Board, have done 7(Seven) flights out of the 12(Twelve) flights scheduled for this year’s Hajj with 3,200 pilgrims, without any hitches, The Herald has learnt.

The first flight with 500 pilgrims, for the holy journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), left the shores of Ghana, on September 16, 2014, followed with 450 prospective pilgrims each day.

This year, more than 5,524 (Five-thousand five hundred and twenty four), Ghanaian pilgrims, will join an estimated 3.8 million worshipers on the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in a religious journey, that is viewed as one of the five pillars of Islam, and the greatest acts of worship.

Speaking to The Herald at the Hajj Village in Accra, a member of the Hajj Board, in Charge of Communication, Mohammed Amin Lamptey, said the number of pilgrims from Ghana was based on the Saudi Arabia quota of 1,000(One thousand) pilgrims per million inhabitants.

So for Ghana that has 25.5 million inhabitants, it was allotted 5,524 slots.

He said, already the Hajj Board, has secured 12 flights from a Saudi Airline, NAS Air, to ferry prospective pilgrims to the Holly land.
Amin Lamptey, lamented that the challenges facing the Board was the pilgrims concealing unacceptable items such as, Cola nuts, Pomade etc.

On accommodation, Mr Lamptey, said pilgrims both old and young are comfortable in Medina their first point of call from Jedda,and some have already moved to Mecca.

He has assured that this year’s Hajj would be better organized than last year’s, which was largely hailed as the most successful organization of Hajj in Ghana, adding, ”all paid pilgrims would be airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Until 2013, the organization of the Hajj in Ghana, had been botched with disappointment and poor organization leading to several prospective pilgrims stranded in Accra and sometimes left in the open space and at the mercy of the weather.

The Herald visit to the various facilities at the Village, showed that things has change, especially regarding free flow of water, the Medical Team at the clinic, the Mosque and the food sellers.

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