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First batch of pilgrims off


First batch of pilgrims offThe first batch of 265 Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims left the Kotoka International Airport aboard Egypt Air at 8.15pm Tuesday for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s Hajj.

It was the first time in many years that the organisation of the holy pilgrimage to Mecca had been without a hitch unlike previous ones which were fraught with delayed departures, poor accommodation and loss of luggage.

A second flight carrying 266 pilgrims is scheduled to leave the airport for the holyland Wednesday morning with the last flight leaving on Sunday morning.

Before the departure of the pilgrims, Vice President John Mahama led a high powered delegation including the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, to wish them safe journey.

Addressing the media later, Mr Mahama prayed that the pilgrims would embark on the journey successfully and return safely. He said considering the fact that the flights had been on schedule and the pilgrims would spend three weeks in Mecca, it was necessary that they carried along enough pocket money of not less than 700 dollars each instead of the previous 200 or 300 dollars.

The Vice-President thanked the Hajj management committee for working round the clock to make sure that the organisation of this year’s Hajj was without any hitch.

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, who was part of the Vice-President’s entourage, expressed appreciation to President John Evans Atta Mills for keeping his promise of ensuring that this year’s pilgrimage would be problem-free.

He also commended Vice-President Mahama for taking steps, while in Egypt for the ministerial meeting of the China-Africa Forum, to ensure that the chartered plane arrived on time.

Source: Ghanaian Times/Ghana

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