Some Muslim groups: Women Groups Ghana, The Hajj Research, Zongo Broadcasters Live, Hajj Media Voice and Northerners and Zongo Concern Youths Association Ghana, have commended Government and the Hajj Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C Quaye, for arriving at a reasonable fare for the 2019 hajj pilgrims.
In an interview with this paper, the National Coordinator of the groups, Alhaji Abubakar Galaxy to ascertain whether or not the 2019 hajj package would favour the would-be pilgrims, he stated that despite the huge increments by the Saudi Arabia authorities in charge of hajj affairs, the Board; led by Sheikh I.C Quaye and the government were able to arrive at 19,500 Ghana Cedis.
This, he said, is reasonable due to a research conducted by the Ghana Hajj Research over the price the hajj board would announce for prospective pilgrims for this year’s Hajj. He revealed that Ghana is the only country with the lowest hajj fare as compared to other Africa countries and the world.
He revealed that upon their research the amount should have been much higher than what the board announced over the weekend adding that the Hajj board has been much grateful to Ghanaian Muslims.
According to him, the current hajj board has encountered many challenges intense of taxations and new policies which led to the increments of this year’s hajj adding that transportation fare was increased by over 200%, accommodation, increase fare in Mina and Arafat fees as well as the introduction of VAT on all services.
This and among others have compel the Hajj Board to increase the fare for this year’s as compel to the 2017 – 2018 hajj fare.
He said under the leadership of Sheikh I.C Quaye, many things have been added to the hajj package which includes: free feeding in Madina, Makkah for over a month for all Ghanaian pilgrims to cushion their expenses.
In other related issue, Alhaji Galaxy expressed his displeasure over how the current Hajj Board under the leadership of Sheikh I. C Quaye have been under many attack by faceless people in an efforts to sabotage and remove him out of office.
Alhaji Halidu Abubakar Galaxy revealed that the announcement of the hajj package have triggered the faceless saboteurs to unleash their bid in ensuring the removal of Sheikh I.C Quaye and be replace with their paymasters.
Alhaji Galaxy further revealed that this faceless group were planning to stage a demonstration against the hajj board Chairman over the fare of this year hajj as well as issuing press statement to make the chairman and the Hajj Board unpopular.
He call on the so-call group to do proper check and research before coming out to criticize the Hajj Chairman over this year’s package and wonder why people will play a tribal card with holy institution like Hajj by sabotaging the Chairman to pave way for their preferred choice who is from the Zongo or Northern extraction.
According to him, the debt nearly compelled the Saudi Arabia authorities in charge of Hajj to blacklist Ghana from performing the 2017 Hajj but due to intervention of Sheikh I.C Quaye and President Nana Addo’s led administration rescued the board by paying all the debts to avoid sanctions from the Saudi Authorities.
However, many Muslim Clerics from different sects and organizations have commended the Sheikh I.C Quaye-led Hajj Board for ensuring a successful hajj operation in the previous years.
The Cleric described I.C Quaye as the best hajj board Chairman in the history of hajj affairs in Ghana and prayed that he continues to do his best to ensure another successful hajj this year.
According to the Claric, Sheikh I.C Quaye is the only hajj board Chairman who was able to airlift all passengers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and fed the pilgrims with three square meal which reduced the burden on pilgrims.