The Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has justified the involvement of government’s annual organization of Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
He said the rights of religious people in the country as enshrined in the constitution and the need to uphold those rights places a moral obligation on the government to support the organization of the pilgrimage.
Speaking on Point of View on Citi TV, he explained that the government’s involvement in Hajj was mainly organizational as the pilgrims usually bear their own cost for the entire pilgrimage.
“[Government cannot take itself out] because we have made this arrangement that allows us to factor religion into state arrangements…This pilgrimage is paid for by the Muslims. However because of the volatility of the exchange rate, government [sometimes] pays the difference,” he said.
Mustapha Abdul-Hamid explained that Ghana would still have been forced to be involved in the organization of Hajj as the authorities in Saudi Arabia, where Muslims all over the world converge for the Hajj prefer to engage with government in preparing to host the pilgrims.