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31.05.2007 General News

Re-organise Hajj council - Moslem clergy

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The Council of Ulamau and Imams of Ghana has advocated the dissolution of the five-member National Hajj Council responsible for the organisation of Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

In its place, it called for the formation of a 21-member body to be called either Ghana Pilgrimage Committee or Hajj Board Council.

It suggested that the restructured body should comprise an executive director, representatives of all the 10 regional Imams, three members of the dissolved national Hajj Council, two members from the Ghana Muslim Agents Association and a member each from Tijjanyya Muslims Movement of Ghana, Ahlul-Sunna Wal-Jamaa, Federation of Muslim Council, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Ghana and a government representative.

The proposed body is to be supervised by the National Chief Imam and the 10 regional Imams, implying that the committee which would have offices in all the regions, would be answerable to the National Chief Imam.

Alhaji Mohammed Ghazah, Northern Regional Imam, announced these at a press conference on Monday May 28, 2007.

He indicated that the dissolution of the National Hajj Council would ensure that the circumstances that led to the branding of the 2006/2007 Hajj a 'fiasco' did not occur again.

He observed that for the past 30 years, Ghanaian muslims had gone through very painful experience to observe the Hajj which is one of the foundation stones of Islam.

"It cannot be denied that pilgrims of 2006/2007 Hajj went through very harrowing experiences with as many as 499 other prospective pilgrims not being able to observe the Hajj," he noted.

"The challenges of the 2006/2007 Hajj brought to the fore that the National Hajj Council did not put structures that they should have been put in place."

He noted with concern how pilgrims were charged 2,100 dollars for the 2006/2007 Hajj and asked the new body to take steps to ensure that this year's fare would not be more than 2,000 US dollars.

Source: The Ghanaian Times

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