Accra, Sept.23, GNA - Mr Kwadwo O. Mpiani, Minister of Presidential Affairs on Friday inaugurated 15-member National Hajj Council to oversee the successful organisation of the Annual Muslim Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
The Council, which replaces the National Hajj Board, is an autonomous body that comprise nominees from the Muslim Community that would exercise over-all responsibility over Hajj matters. Mr Mpiani, who is also the Chief of Staff, said the Council was a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) with a legal identity and capacity to sue and be sued.
It has rights to hold and dispose of property and to enter into contractual relations with third parties. "By virtue of the legal framework for NGOs the National Hajj Council will have authority to be responsive to the representative needs of all major interests within the Muslim Community."
Mr Mpiani said it was incumbent on the Council to display outmost tolerance, honesty and cooperation with the diverse groups, persons and interests with whom they have to operate with in order to have successful Hajj.
He urged the Council to do effective planning and budgeting in order to arrive at the real cost per pilgrim to reduce the drudgery associated with the spiritual journey. "In view of the urgent constraints I urge the Council to initiate activities towards the 2006 Hajj." Alaric Abdul Rahman Nantogmah, Former Chairman of the Hajj Board, handed over official documents of the Board to Dr Hajia Rabiatu Armah, a member of the Council.
Dr Hajia Armah described the responsibility of the Council as very challenging and onerous but said with cooperation from the Muslim Community its workload would be made lighter.