Ghana appeals Hajj repatriation

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The 39 female pilgrims who were repatriated from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be returning to observe the religious rites Tuesday.

According to the National Hajj Committee, it has appealed the decision and could receive a positive feedback soon. Nine of the pilgrims are minors and 30 adults were categorized as without guardians because they are less than 40 years. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires that all ladies less than 40 years old be accompanied by an adult male relative.

A statement by the Pilgrims Affairs Office stated that the Saudi Ambassador to Ghana is working with the Pilgrims Affairs Office Ghana Chairman, Hon Ibrahim Rauf Tanko to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

“It’s because of the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; they do not expect female pilgrims who are below 40 years to enter the country for Hajj purposes unaccompanied so if you are less than 40 years, you need to have a guardian and your guardian could be your husband, brother, cousin, or any family relative but there are times that because of our flight schedules and sometimes the process of acquiring visas, people do not go together with their guardian,” the Communications Director of the National Hajj Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini, told Citi FM.

He added: “We are working with the Saudi Arabian Embassy here in Ghana and the Immigration officials so that they can return with the flight that will be leaving tomorrow [Tuesday] morning.”

The first batch of 500 of Muslim Pilgrims from the three Northern regions were flown from the Tamale International Airport to Jedda, Saudi Arabia a week ago with about 1500 pilgrims expected to fly from Tamale to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Ghana/starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Kent Mensah

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