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Regular Morale-Boosting Visits by VP Aliu Mahama

2006-01-12 12:35:01
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Former VP
The organisation of this year's Hajj by the newly constituted National Hajj Board of Ghana has won the admiration of many individuals including President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Addressing a cross-section of Ghanaian Muslims at this year's Eid-ul-Adha prayers, President Kufuor acknowledged the success of the Board's pre-departure arrangements for pilgrims and congratulated members of the Council for their performance. President Kufuor said though the Hajj Board had done well so far there was still more room for improvement, just like any other field of human endeavour. He entreated members of the Board to pay attention to feedback from returning pilgrims to help them improve upon their standards. He said it is the expectation of the government that the organisation of the Hajj would remain successful and excellent in order to make pilgrims take full benefit of its spiritual rewards. President Kufuor urged the public especially would-be pilgrims to fully cooperate with the Board at all times to avoid exposing themselves to avoidable inconveniences.

He called on Ghanaian Muslims to pray for unity, peace and development. Scenes of prospective pilgrims stranded at the El-Walk Stadium as a result of non-performance of members of previous Boards, as witnessed in the recent past years, were not recorded this year.

A member of the Eid-ul-Adha Planning Committee, Alhaji Mamah Gado Mohammed, expressed gratitude to government for its swift response to the perennial Hajj problems in Ghana through the reconstitution of a new Hajj Board. ADM's enquiry on the welfare of Ghanaian pilgrims currently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia revealed that almost all of them are doing well.

Speaking to the ADM from Mecca yesterday, a member of the Documentation Committee of the Board's Task Force, Alhaji Abdel-Manan Abdul-Rahman, said the exercise so far has been successful with Ghanaian pilgrims. He said the secret behind the success of the exercise was the high level of commitment exhibited by Ghanaian Hajj officials.

He disclosed that whereas some officers during the previous years received as much as US$2,000 as their allowances, some officials of the present Board have decided to sacrifice their allowances and seek the welfare of Ghanaian pilgrims for very little financial reward.

He said Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama who led an official delegation to this year's Hajj and Ghana's Honorary Consul to the Kingdom paid regular visits to the Ghanaian camps to boost the morale of the pilgrims. Mr. Abdel Manan said the only challenge facing the Ghanaian contingent is that facilities meant for them were being over-stretched as a result of "encroachment" on their camp by some other pilgrims, who are Ghanaian citizens but resident in the Kingdom.
He said the Ghanaian pilgrims population was 2,050 against the 1,600 budgeted for and "our camp surprisingly is presently holding over 3,000 pilgrims".

Mr. Abdel Manan announced the loss of 3 Ghanaian pilgrims in the Holy Land saying the latest one was recorded on Tuesday. The pilgrims are expected to start arriving from around January 19 to February 6.


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