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19.04.2004 General News

Hajj Board urged to streamline operations

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Kumasi, April 19, GNA - Alhaji Dr Amen Bonsu, Managing Director of Amen Scientific Herbal Clinic has called on the National Hajj Board to co-ordinate and co-operate between the board, agents and prospective pilgrims.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi at the weekend, Dr Alhaji Bonsu said, there was the need for the Board and Muslim organisations and groups to organise various fora to enlighten Muslims on the Hajj process and problems.

He said, the pilgrimage to Mecca was difficult and it was by the grace of God that few disasters were recorded annually, considering the number of pilgrims worldwide doing similar rituals at the same time at the same place.

The Herbal Doctor said agents of pilgrims were hardly seen helping them after leaving Accra to Mecca and that it was the Ghanaian students there who really assisted Muslims to go about the rituals.

"Most of these Muslims when they arrive in Mecca do not know where to start the rituals and where to end. These are some of the problems that must he handled for them, so they can perform the rituals as expected of them," he said.

He said there were so many anomalies in the system that needed to be addressed. For instance, he noted accommodation for pilgrims in Accra, Jeddah, Medina and Mecca, flight arrangements, transport facilities and arrangement for transit passengers.

Alhaji Dr Bonsu said due to poor co-ordination, pilgrims were compelled to spend few hours at some areas, which should not be the case.

He said Hajj, which is one of the pillars of Islam should be made easier for all Muslims to participate before meeting their God and to this end, there was the need for the Hajj board to include members from all Muslim organisations and groups who were prepared to make this compulsory exercise more enjoyable.

Alhaji Bonsu suggested that Muslim organisations and groups whose members made the pilgrimage be part of the Hajj board to enhance accountability and transparency.

He commended the government for its unflinching support for Muslims in facilitating the pilgrimage and expressed the hope that it would continue to give Muslims that support.

Alhaji Dr Bonsu said performing Hajj renewed a Muslim's faith and fear of God and the fulfilment of God's wish.

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