3 Ghanaian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

Three Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims who were part of this year’s Hajj have died in Saudi Arabia, the Hajj Board has confirmed.
One other person is on admission at a medical facility in that country, the Board added.
The deceased, made up of two females and a male, are to be buried in Saudi Arabia after their families in Ghana gave their consents for them to be interred in that country.
According to Hajia Marian Cissey, Deputy Communications Director at the Hajj Board, who confirmed the incident, the two women reportedly died in their sleep while the man is reported to have died at a medical facility.
In an interview on an Accra based Neat FM, on Thursday, Hajia Cissey described the religious exercise as a rigorous one for “the fit and abled”.
“You have to go through all the processes the Prophet went through, it is for the fit and abled… you have to travel on foot, you have to travel on camel back to embark on religious exercise,” she noted.
A total of 6350 muslims from Ghana are participating in this year’s pilgrimage.
Marian Cissey confirmed reports that some Ghanaians were sleeping under bridges for lack of accommodation in Saudi Arabia but blamed the Saudi authorities for the development.
The Hajj Board, she said, was only informed that the quota for all countries including Ghana had been cut down two days before they were set to move to Mina.
According to her, the Saudi Arabian authorities attributed the reduction in the quota to countries to the overwhelming interest in this year’s Hajj.
“In fact this generated a heated argument, because we told them we signed an agreement and we were sending 6200 but they agreed to provide us with tents that will accommodate the number but they explained the situation was not peculiar to only Ghana and every country was affected. Some were short by 100, others 200, 300 so we had to manage,” she explained
She described the treatment being meted out to some Ghanaians as unfair and disclosed that the Hajj Board had registered its disquiet.
“The situation is not peculiar to Ghana but from the Saudi authorities who said the numbers were overwhelming and they could not make enough preparations to host them in tents. That is the explanation the Saudi authorities have given to us and said every country must adjust to the present condition,” she explained.
She said apart from Arafat and Mina where pilgrims were supposed to sleep in tents, those in areas such as Madina and Mecca had a hotel room to reside in.

By Times Reporter  

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