Hajj 2016 Mahama renders apology to unsuccessful pilgrims

Many pilgrims were left stranded at the Kotoka International Airport this year due to government’s inability to airlift them to Mecca although they have gone through the necessary formalities.

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President John Dramani Mahama has rendered an apology to prospective pilgrims who were unable to fly to Saudi Arabia for the 2016 Hajj pilgrimage.

“I wish to express my regret to all who due to certain reasons were unable to embark on the Hajj this year,” he said.

The president was addressing Muslims as part of the Eid ul-Adha celebrations at the Black Star Square in Accra on Monday.

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Prospective Hajj pilgrims stranded; cry for help 

Many pilgrims were left stranded at the Kotoka International Airport this year due to government’s inability to airlift them to Mecca although they have gone through the necessary formalities.

The stranded prospective pilgrims have since demanded answers from the Hajj Board for their inability to board the last flight.

But in his address, President Mahama said that he had asked the Hajj Committee to speak to the Saudi authorities to increase the number of Ghanaian pilgrims for next year’s hajj.

“To all who due to certain reasons were unable to embark on the hajj this year, this was due to two main factors: first, it was the airlifting of 2000 persons in the Tamale international airport, which was very well patronised to reduce the quota of those who took off in Accra. Second is the dramatic growth of pilgrim numbers beyond the quota that has been assigned to Ghana by the Saudi authorities. I have asked our hajj committee to request an increase in our quota of pilgrims from the current 5424 to 7000 pilgrims next year,” the President said.

Over 5,000 Ghanaian Muslims made the trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year's pilgrimage.

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