Immediate Press Release :PILGRIMAGE IN PERIL: Alhaji Bawumia lets Ghanaian Muslims down again

The annual Hajj pilgrimage, a sacred ritual for Muslims worldwide, has turned into a nightmare for Ghanaian Muslims.

The government, led by Dr. Bawumia has failed to address the soaring costs and inefficiencies plaguing the pilgrimage, leaving thousands of faithful in limbo.

One of the most egregious issues is the exorbitant cost of the pilgrimage. Ghanaian Muslims are forced to pay astronomical fees, making it difficult for many to fulfill this essential aspect of their faith.

The government’s inability to control costs has resulted in a situation where only the affluent can afford to make the journey.
Furthermore, the Hajj Board’s allocation for pilgrims has been grossly mismanaged.

Many Ghanaians have been left stranded, forced to take different routes to Mecca at their own expense. This is unacceptable, given that the Board is responsible for ensuring a smooth and accessible journey for all pilgrims.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s shortcomings on Hajj are a stark reminder of their failure to prioritize the needs of Ghanaian Muslims.

In 2023 Hajj, the Hajj board couldn’t meet it’s quota. Only about 4000 went to Mecca through the Hajj board. Over 2000 people resorted to the Ummrah visa.

Now in 2024, the Quota given Ghana by tye Saudi government was 6,700. Now from our sources at the Hajj board, over 6000 Ghanaian pilgrims have already left for Saudi without going through the Hajj board. This is unprecedented especially under a Muslim vice president. The exorbitant pegging of Hajj fare ot Ghc75,000 has caused Muslims to resort to the use of unauthorized route to travel to Saudi for Hajj. In 216, the then government initiated a special exchange rate allocation to give a discount to pilgrims to enable Muslims fulfill that important pillar of Islam. Currently, Ghana is the country with the highest Hajj fare in the sub-region; Togo, Nigeria and Ivory Coast pays less Hajj fare compared to Ghana, flying from the United States of America to Mecca even charge less amount compared to Ghana.

The government’s inaction has led to a crisis of faith, as many are now questioning their ability to fulfill this fundamental religious obligation.
It is imperative that the government takes immediate action to address these issues.

This includes implementing measures to control costs, increasing transparency and efficiency within the Hajj Board, and ensuring that all pilgrims are able to make the journey without undue hardship.

The Hajj pilgrimage is a sacred trust, and it is the government’s responsibility to protect and facilitate it. The NPP government must do better to serve the needs of Ghanaian Muslims and restore the dignity of this essential religious ritual.

Umar Harris
President
Association of Liberal Muslims-Ghana.
0241201991/ 0509995378

For your immediate release
To all media houses
27th May, 2024

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