Hajj Board Announces Another Novelty

Ben Abdallah Banda

Another novelty to ease the challenges of Hajj management has been announced by the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Hajj Board Secretariat.

According to Alhaji Farouk Hamza, a fingerprint database is being created and this would go a long way in stemming the anomalies of illegal immigrants and visa abusers infiltrating the camp of Ghana Hajj Board pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement on the subject, the Executive Secretary expressed concern about how such infiltrators alongside others who go as tourists but end up pitching camp with Ghana Hajj Board pilgrims.

“Such infiltrations constitute a major challenge for Hajj management because of the pressure they bring to bear upon logistics. The illegal immigrants and those who go on tourist visas usurp beds meant for our pilgrims but with the fingerprint database and other measures up our sleeves we shall remedy this anomaly. We are poised to deliver a smooth Hajj this year and we demand the cooperation of all to achieve the feat,” he said.

The challenge posed by visa abuse is something which the Saudi authorities are poised to address, he said, adding that “those found to be engaged in the unlawful acts by the Saudis would be sanctioned and even banned from entering the Kingdom over a number of years.”

Earlier, the curtains were drawn over the Kumasi chapter of the Hajj 2023 orientation series at the Central Mosque.

Prospective pilgrims gave thumbs-up to the Ghana Hajj Board for the orientation series, which is one of the innovations characterising Hajj 2023.

During his presentation, the Executive Secretary took prospective pilgrims through what to expect from departure formalities to touchdown in Madina, Saudi Arabia.

For those embarking upon the pilgrimage for the first time and others who have never travelled outside Ghana, it was an eye-opener they relished.

Kumasi being a major source of pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage, there was a large turnout of prospective pilgrims.

The Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board, Ben Abdallah Banda was also in attendance to assure prospective pilgrims about elaborate arrangements to ensure their comfort.

Meanwhile, all is set for the commencement of the airlift of Ghanaian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tamale on June 9, 2023.

The fingerprint database, the Ghana Hajj App and the countrywide orientation series are some of the innovations rolled out by the Ghana Hajj Board Secretariat which have given a refreshing facelift to Hajj management and standing Hajj 2023 apart from previous ones.

By A.R. Gomda