Hajj board under NPP is on course – Muslims

Muslims accross the country have risen up against a group calling itself the Progressive Muslim Forum entreating it to desist from making uncivilised statements about the current Hajj Board which has worked tirelessly to improve upon Hajj pilgrimage in the country.

Muslim Groups in the country are taken aback by the ongoing misguided claims being spewed out into the public domain by the Progressive Muslim Forum, described the said Forum as an NDC grouping which has no relations with the Muslim community as they claim.

Muslim Groups Ghana, Accredited Hajj Agents, Muslim Women Groups, Hajj Research, Zongo Broadcasters Live, Hajj Media Voice and Northerners and Zongo Concern Youths Association Ghana among other recognised Muslim Groups have indicated that the said Forum which has no say in the matters of Muslim activities cannot be taken serious.

The said Forum had issued a press release claimed the NPP government is making no effort to render detailed account on the 2017 and 2018 Hajj to the Ghanaian Muslims.

According to the group, “there is not a single report to the public on how the funds paid into the Hajj accounts were disbursed,” claiming that the government of Ghana rather makes profit from the monies the Muslim Committee pay towards their pilgrimage.”

Meanwhile, snippets of information gathered indicated that the Progressive Muslim Forum was formed to discredit the many acheivements the Sheik IC Quaye Board has made and continues to make as far as Hajj pilgrimage is concerned.

In effect, recognised Muslim Groups have all stressed the fact that the NDC which has now formed such a group to be making such demands had forgotten the huge debt they left behind.

It would be recalled that soon after the Shiek IC Quaye Board took over it became clear that the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana (PAOG) which had been responsible for managing pilgrimage to Mecca under the NDC and John Mahamadu, left behind a debt of GHC23 million.

The Office, which was then headed by Ibrahim Tanko, owed Saudi airline, Nas, for airlifting Ghanaian pilgrims to and from the Holy land. Apart from this, about 452 would-be pilgrims who paid up to embark on the spiritual journey were unable to make it and the PAOG failed to return their money to them after failing to facilitate their pilgrimage.

It also emerged that the office at the time kept no receipts to back the transactions that raked up the 23 million cedis debt and was unable to give any tangible reason as to why it is unable to refund the money of the 452 failed pilgrims.

However upon taking over as Chairman if the Hajj Board, Sheik IC Quaye and his team managed to lobby the Akufo-Addo government to settle the debt left behind by the previous Hajj Board under the Mahama government.

Currently, Hajj pilgrimage have been praising the Board for transforming Hajj activities in the country.

They have commended the government and the Hajj Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C. Quaye for arriving at a reasonable fare of 19,500 Ghana Cedis for the 2019 Hajj operations, something they said was a relief to them.

According to them, they are comfortable and appreciative of steps taken by the Akufo-Addo led government to make travelling for Hajj Pilgrimage much easier, comfortable and affordable.

In a telephone interview with the National Coordinator of the groups, Alhaji Abubakar Galaxy, he said despite the huge increments by the Saudi Arabia Authorities in charge of Hajj affairs, the Board led by Sheikh I.C Quaye and the government were able to arrive at 19,500 Ghana Cedis, which to them is reasonable.

He said the Progressive Muslim Forum is not a recognised group among the Muslim groups and for that matter, are aliens to the Muslim community.

He said the Shiek IC Quaye Board has nor completed its duty hence the call for it to render accounts is premature.

For him, the Board has been given a mandate to operate and must be allowed to do so until the end of its mandate when calls for its accounts csn be made.

Alhaji Galaxy charged the NDC which he said is working through the said Forum, to come clean and tell the people of Ghana how they blew the Hajj fees for political activities which culminated in huge debt to the country, of which the current Board settled.

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