National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu
Members of the board of the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana (PAOG) yesterday paid a courtesy call on the National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu at his New Fadama Residence in Accra to present him with the package for this year’s Hajj and to update him with the general preparations for the annual religious activity which season is about to commence.
The Chairman of the board, Sheikh I.C. Quaye told the Chief Imam that “we are here to update you about the preparations for this year’s Hajj. We have been bestowed with a responsibility and as the National Chief Imam we deem it a duty to brief you about how far we have come. Our decision is informed by the fact that the board was set up by the President in consultation with your office. We intend to periodically update you about developments so that you know the various steps that we take towards the achievement of a successful Hajj.”
The board apprised the National Chief Imam about details of this year’s Hajj package especially the fare adding that “the intervention of the President and the Vice President has made it possible for us to arrive at a reasonable fare; the vagaries of the foreign exchange market notwithstanding.”
The cost of some services in Saudi, DAILY GUIDE has gathered, has been increased by a hundred fold but this has not reflected in the Hajj fare due to be released on Monday contrary to rumours being circulated in the Islamic communities across the country.
The Chairman suggested to the National Chief Imam to invite the regional chief imams as major stakeholders to come and take a look at the package before the final release at a press conference on Monday.
The National Chief Imam, elated about the package, has agreed to host the regional chief imams on Sunday with a view to laying before them the Hajj package prior to the press conference on Monday.
Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu prayed for the government for the role it has played so far in ensuring that the forthcoming Hajj, in spite of glaring challenges, is not impeded unduly.
DAILY GUIDE has also learnt about how the Ghanaian delegation which attended the Hajj conference earlier in Saudi Arabia managed to cut down the cost of certain services in the favour of pilgrims apart from those officially increased by state service providers.
It is also expected that the outgoing managers of the pilgrimage headed by Hon Abdul Rauf Ibrahim Tanko would hand over officially before the end of next week.
By A.R. Gomda