Hajj Board Apologizes After Shambolic Organization

The Ghana Hajj Board has pleaded profusely with Ghanaian Hajj pilgrims who took part in this year’s pilgrimage to forgive it over any inconvenience the board’s “actions or inaction” may have caused them throughout this process.

The head of the Hajj Board, Ben Abdallah Banda, who has visited various camps in Mecca, South Arabia, where Ghanaian Hajj pilgrims are lodging, said the status quo is not going to remain the same, because things will change in subsequent operations.

According to him, as a human institution, the Hajj Board could not have gotten everything right to the satisfaction of all pilgrims, and he assured them of changes to address these challenges to improve Hajj service in future.

“Ghana Hajj Board is a human institution, and surely, we could not have had everything right.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you all, on behalf of the board, for any inconvenience our actions or inaction may have caused you throughout this process,” he said.

To ensure some mistakes are not repeated, he added that there will be some changes to ensure the best Hajj experience for future Ghanaians pilgrims.

“Whatever it is, the status quo is not going to remain. In shaa Allah, things will change and we will have a marked improvement in our operations,” he assured.

The pilgrims, who suffered some traveling challenges before embarking on the trip due to poor organization of this year’s Hajj, are waiting anxiously to return home after performing that all-important pillar of Islam.

So far, about 50 percent of the pilgrims, from the northern part of the country, returned home last weekend.

However, the rest, who will be coming through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), were airlifted beginning yesterday Monday, July 17 in Mecca.

The first batch, constituting some 430 passengers, onboard the A330 Airbus, Flynas Airline, is due to arrive today, Tuesday July 18.

Last Sunday evening, the chairman of the Hajj Board, together with some board members, visited the various Ghanaian camps in Mecca to interact with pilgrims.

During his interactions, he briefed the pilgrims on arrangements made for their airlifting back home, and also touched on Hajj operations this year.

The first flight, carrying pilgrims to Accra, is scheduled to arrive on Monday, followed by four other daily flights.

About 2,000 northern sector Ghanaian pilgrims have already returned home, using the Tamale Airport.

This year’s Hajj marked the first time Saudi authorities allowed full Hajj without restrictions, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The board chairman was accompanied by many board members, including Abdul Aziz Haruna Futa, Chief Saddique Jimala, Alhaji Yunusah Osman, Sheikh Amin Bonsu, Dr. Zakaria Seidu and Ahmed Abdulai Abu.

This is the maiden Hajj programme of the reconstituted Hajj Board and Secretariat, which was previously headed by Sheikh I. C. Quaye, a New Patriotic Party(NPP) heavyweight.

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