Two of the 2,500 Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims who performed this year’s Hajj are reported dead in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The two, both men, were said to have died of natural causes.
The Secretary of the National Hajj Committee (NHC), Alhaji Muhammad Kpakpo Addo, who spoke with the Daily Graphic via phone, declined to give the names of the dead, insisting that the NHC would have to clear that with the families of the deceased in Ghana.
He said the first pilgrim, in his late 60s, died at Madina, while the second pilgrim, in his late 50s, passed away in Mecca. They have since been buried.
The two pilgrims died before the beginning of the Hajj rites. Meanwhile, Alhaji Addo said, all the other pilgrims were in good condition of health and were preparing for their return journey.
He said the first batch of 266 pilgrims were expected to arrive in Ghana on Tuesday, November 30, 2010, aboard the Egypt Airline aircraft.
The second to the ninth batches would be arriving from December 1 to December 6, 2010. Alhaji Addo said the pilgrims would come with their pieces of luggage and indicated that the luggage would be conveyed to the Hajj Village, where the pilgrims would go for them.
That arrangement, he said, was to prevent the loss of any piece of luggage. On the thorny issue of Ghana’s quota, Alhaji Addo, said the Chairman of the NHC, Alhaji Alhasan Bene and other members had begun talks with the Saudi Hajj authorities on the need to increase Ghana’s quota from the current 2,500 to a number that could cover all Ghanaian pilgrims.