The National Haj Council has explaned that despite the frantic efforts made by the government and the Ghana mission in Jeddah to seek an extension of time to enable the pilgrims to be airlifted, the Saudi authorities had refused, making it impossible to get them to Mecca.
'It must be noted though that a substantial number of pilgrims have already been transported to the Saudi Kingdom,' the statement said.
It said the council is consulting all stakeholders on the way forward and will provide a full statement tomorrow. It gave the assurance that the Council will continue to generate relationships with all and sundry, especially government and affected pilgrims, in order to protect the interests of all.
The pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslim faithfuls has been fraught with problems over the years, resulting in the formation of a new Hajj Council headed by Sheikh Ibrahim Mustapha, Head of the Islamic Council on Humanitarian Development with Dr. Rabiatu Armah, a Lecturer at the University of Ghana as Vice Chairman.
The Executive Secretary of the council is Alhaji Nuhu Kamatey.