Reduce Hajj fares to make Pilgrimage affordable for Muslims – Alhaji Rufai Nuhu urges Hajj Board - Onlinetimesgh

Reduce Hajj fares to make Pilgrimage affordable for Muslims – Alhaji Rufai Nuhu urges Hajj Board

The Western Regional Zongo Youth Chief, Alhaji Rufai Tanko Nuhu, has urged the Ghana National Hajj Board to significantly reduce the cost of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca to make it affordable for Ghanaian Muslims.

According to him, reducing the fare for the Hajj pilgrimage for the Muslim community will improve the services rendered to Ghanaian pilgrims during the annual religious ritual in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to the press at the Sekondi Zongo on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024, after his return from the holy land of Mecca to perform Hajj, he underscored the significance of Hajj in the lives of Muslims and urged the Hajj Board to take immediate action to alleviate the financial burdens on potential pilgrims.

Hajj, according to the Islamic calendar, is one of the five pillars of Islam, holding enormous spiritual importance for Muslims around the globe.

Annually, millions of Muslims embark on this sacred journey to fulfil their religious duties and seek spiritual enlightenment and guidance.

However, he said that charging exorbitant fares for the pilgrimage has made it difficult for many faithful Muslim devotees to afford.

He suggested that the Ghana National Hajj Board should at least charge 45,000ghc for many Muslim devotees to afford and with this, the Hajj Board could still get profit. He said charging an exorbitant fare of 75,000ghc is highly unacceptable for the intended purpose of the religious duties of Muslims.

Chief Alhaji Rufai Tanko Nuhu detailed how Ghanaian pilgrims even have to queue before one can visit the washroom at the facility provided for Ghanaian pilgrims, affirming that it is inhumane and unfair since each pilgrim paid a whopping amount of GHC 75,000 to the Hajj Board for the trip, an amount he considers abnormally high compared to what he paid as a private pilgrim to Saudi Arabia.

Alhaji Rufai reiterated, that he visited the holy land with his wife, and their visa fees, air ticket, and hotel accommodation for their entire stay in the holy land amounted to GHC60,000.00 therefore wondered about the rip-off on the poor pilgrims perpetuated by the insensitive Hajj Board.

Alhaji Rufai argued that most of the West African countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Senegal, and Niger charged lower rates and provided better housing and services for their pilgrims. He added that their facilities were about three to 5 minutes walking distance away from the Holy masjid whereas that of Ghana was about 20 to 30 minutes away in a Taxi, a situation he sees to be very appealing. He said such treatment prevented most Ghanaian pilgrims from visiting the Holy mosque regularly to communicate with Allah for spiritual cleansing.

When asked about the promise by former president Mahama to reduce the Hajj fares for Muslims, he said it is possible that the next NDC government would surely reduce the increasing fare of the Hajj pilgrimage.

He appealed to the Muslim community in Ghana, as well as the leaders, to wade into the issue concerning the high fares charged by the Hajj Board, for it to be reviewed downward, to pave the way for more Muslims to fulfill their sacred religious obligation of a lifetime.

By Lawrence Odoom


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