Runaway Ghanaian pilgrims in Mecca refuse to return home

According to a Saudi Arabia report, many of the pilgrims, through the help of agents escape from their camps after performing their holy rituals. It is believed that other African countries who also travel to Mecca are engaged in similar acts.

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Some Hajj pilgrims play

Some Hajj pilgrims

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Some Ghanaian Muslims who embarked on this year's Hajj trip to Mecca are reportedly unwilling to return home.

More than 2 million Muslims on Tuesday started the first rites of the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest pilgrimages that draws people from different countries to the holy city of Mecca to perform a series of rituals and prayers aimed at erasing past sins.

According to a Saudi Arabia report, many of the pilgrims, through the help of agents escape from their camps after performing their holy rituals. It is believed that other African countries who also travel to Mecca are engaged in similar acts.

Deputy communications director of the Ghana Hajj Board, Mohammed Amin Lamptey confirming the news to Accra-based Starr fm, said: ''this is a perennial problem. It didn't start today; it started long ago. Coming to Hajj, people have their own intentions, there are those who come to pray, while others come to seek for greener pastures. we at Hajj board can't determine who is coming for what".

He however added that plans are ongoing to ensure that almost all pilgrims who embarked in this year's Hajj return home.

Meanwhile, one Ghanaian pilgrim had told Starr FM that most of his colleagues are unwilling to return home.

"A lot of people can't return from the Mecca trip. I don't know if officials at the airport know about that. I also don't know if airport officials wait for passengers to board the plane. Imet one recently and he said he said he will be coming next week. And he is as young as I am. He has been living there for four years. For some of them, they are eager to return, but most of them are not willing to", he added.

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