All is set for 5428 Ghanaian?pilgrims to be airlifted?to saudi Arabia for this?year, starting next week,?Hajj Chairman of the Pilgrims?Affairs Office,?Ghana, has announced.
Alhaji Abdul Rauf?Tanko Ibrahim made the?disclosure last Saturday?during a seminar organised?for prospective pilgrims by?the Hajj Agents Association?of Ghana at the Hajj Village?in Accra in collaboration?with his office.
The seminar was?informed by the need to?prime pilgrims with the?knowledge about the rituals?making up the pilgrimage?and the dos and don?ts in?especially a foreign country.
For some pilgrims, this?is their first foreign trip.
The Hajj is one of the?five pillars and Muslims are?enjoined to perform once in?their lifetime if they can.
According to the Chairman,?Nas Air would start?transporting the pilgrims?from September 16-27.
He stated that there?would be 12 flights in all,?with the first flight expected?to contain 450 passengers.
The pilgrims would be?away for a month, he?added. He went on to?assure that all arrangements?have been concluded to?ensure a smooth pilgrimage?for his compatriots.
This, he said, has witnessed?a slight decline in the?number of pilgrims; last?year had 5490 compared to?this year?s 5428.
The Chairman urged?pilgrims to exhibit good?morals and manners during?the pilgrimage especially?towards other pilgrims the?come in contact with.
Alhaji Abdul Rauf dissociated?his office from the?$100 being charged by?some pilgrims for the animal?sacrifice during the?Hajj. While in the Holy?Land, he said pilgrims?have the option of doing?the sacrifice of performing?an alternative ritual in?place of it. Such collection?for his office, he said, was?not proper.
This year, his office has?secured accommodation?not close to their primary?places of worship; something?he said would save?them from the usual hassle.
The Chairman of the?Hajj Agents Association of?Ghana, Alhaji Issah Umar,?in a welcome remark,?indicated that last year?s
edition was timely and?won the hearts of all for?which he saluted the Pilgrims?Affairs Office.
By Melvin Tarlue