The first batch of Ghana’s Hajj pilgrims for the year 2016 numbers about 500. They are to leave Ghana today for Saudi Arabia by air.
Reports reveal that Ghana’s Hajj pilgrims flying from Tamale who are 1500 in number were broken into three batches. They are expected to be flown to Saudi Arabia in three days [Friday, Saturday, Sunday], on board Saudi Airline, Fly Nas. The first 500 will fly directly from the Tamale International Airport to Jedda in Saudi Arabia today.
The National Hajj Committee has disclosed that efforts are being made to see that this year’s pilgrimage is made less stressful for the Ghanaian pilgrims. According to the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Amin Lamptey, they have made adequate preparations for this year’s pilgrimage.
He indicated that Saudi Arabia has developed a new strategy where each pilgrim will get a gadget for identification. The gadget is designed in a way that it will identify where pilgrims are coming from, the language they speak and so on. The gadget would also help to monitor and evaluate pilgrims when they are participating in the rituals. This is to forestall the possibility of any occurrence similar to what happened during last year’s Hajj’
We would recall that over 700 Hajj pilgrims lost their lives and over 850 were injured during the last segment of the sacred ritual in the Holy City during the 2015 Hajj. A similar tragic event also took place in Kumasi during this year’s Sallah, leaving 9 people dead.
The 2016 Hajj will commence on Friday the 9th of September and end on Wednesday the 14th of same month. According to the Hajj Committee, Ghana’s Hajj pilgrims for the year 2016 are over 5000. Reports also reveal that a total of 11 flights will be provided to fly the pilgrims to Saudi Arabis. Three will convey for pilgrims from the north from the Tamale International Airport while the remaining 8 will convey those from the southern parts of the country from the Kotoka International Airport.
Meanwhile, reports reveal that Nigeria has so far flown 20, 000 Hajj pilgrims from the country to Saudi Arabia! BuzzGhana also understand that about 70,000 Nigerians are expected to be in Mecca for this year’s celebrations.
Strict Warning Against Traveling with Drugs, Kolanuts
The Saudi Arabian government has strictly warned all Hajj pilgrims never to come into the county with any type of drug including kola nuts. They made it clear that anyone found with kola nuts would face a death penalty.
As kola nuts is known to contain caffeine, we perceive that the country has decided to include it among ‘all drugs’ which have before now been under prohibition in the Holy City. The law was made sure following the tragic occurrence during last year’s Hajj which claimed hundreds of lives.