Towards trouble-free hajj pilgrimage

IT is the wish of pilgrims that, this year’s Hajj-trip to the holy land of Mecca, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for religious purpose-would be as smooth as possible.

That would remove the stress the pilgrims go through to undertake one of the important pillars of Islamic Religion.

This expectation stem from  the fact that the leadership at  the helm of affairs have perfected their skills in Hajj operations, either by their direct involvement or by learning lessons from the challenges previous Hajj operators had encountered.

However, we have learnt of some challenges the leadership of the “Hajj Board” is facing in getting the pilgrims to go through the procedures for the flight to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Media reports are that there was an uneasy calm at the Hajj Village, in Accra, on Saturday, with some pilgrims who were supposed to embark on their flight on that day, getting frustrated and venting their anger on the “Hajj Board,” accusing them of incompetence and lack of proper planning.

Indeed, their frustration and anxiety is heightened by the fear that they might not be able to embark on the journey to satisfy their religious obligations, given that the airports in Saudi Arabia would be closed in the next two days, August 16 for the Hajj rituals, which officially begins on August 19 and ends on August 24.

The Ghanaian Times have no reason to doubt the competence of the Board to work around the clock to get the prospective pilgrims to be airlifted to the Holy City, before the closure of the airports by the Saudi Arabia authorities.

We share in the pain and anxiety of the pilgrims, having left their homes in high spirit and with the assurance by their agents that all is well, only for the journey to hit a snag. There are too many of these complaints from the pilgrims and we urge the board to work extra hard to resolve the issues.

It is worrying to hear the complaints of pilgrims who raise issues of competence and lack of planning on the part of the “Hajj Board.”

We cannot judge the leadership of the Board and we are convinced that they are men and women of substance. And that is why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, entrusted them with the responsibility of organising a smooth Hajj on behalf of the state.

However, we hold the view that proper planning is key to achieving a set goal. It is not out of place for the pilgrims to require of the board adequate planning, to avoid pitfalls. Challenges are daily occurrences in any endeavour, and we believe with adequate planning, we can overcome challenges and take measures to address them.

Although the assignment given the board requires a lot of resources, including time, we encourage the stakeholders in the Hajj operations- the pilgrims, board members and agents- to be guided by the spirit of  sacrifice and deliver on their mandate.

This we believe borders on sacrifice.

That we believe would remove all doubts, suspicions, accusations from the minds of stakeholders, especially the pilgrims. The Pilgrims pay lot of money to undertake the journey. Surely, they deserve a trouble free hajj pilgrimage.

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