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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Columnist: Abdul - Jawad Tiyumba

Ghana and Hajj

It's the prayer of every Muslim to visit the holy city of Mecca to perform one of the pillars of Islam. Year in year out, millions of people troop in from all over the world to perform Hajj.

As we can recall, this years Hajj has been a very tragic one. From the falling of the crane that killed many people to the stampede that claimed many lives as well.

This is indeed tragic and I know the Saudi government is doing something to prevent this occurring again.

To those who lost their lives, Allah knows best and to their families, accept my deepest condolences.

But what worries me most and many Ghanaian Muslims is Ghana and Hajj. The question I put before all is, What is wrong with our Hajj board and its preparations? Should politics interfere with Religious matters? Are they leaders or misleaders?

From the beginning to the end of this year Hajj was flawed. People do not know if they will be going or not even after paying the $3000+. Why should they even pay that amount? Hmmm!!!

I think there should be transparency and it should be investigated. Back to the matter at hand. People were left at expense of mosquitoes at the Hajj village without any proper communication.

Poor organization is the trademark of these organizers. After the stampede in Mecca, a list of names where spread through social media about some missing Ghanaians by one Mr. Amin Lamptey who is part of the Hajj board. But was it a credible list or just a list to show they were doing something which before them and Allah, they did nothing. They just wrote names of people they didn't know.

Another "good" organization by the Hajj Board. What happened to the luggages of the pilgrims? Why so they have to wait for their luggages for three weeks after arriving?

Spare me the story of the plane not being able to carry all the luggages since you and I know it's not true. Why should business men and women get about fifteen luggages the very day they touched Kotoka International Airport when pilgrims could not even get a single bag out of their two bags provided to ensure easy transportation of luggages after days of arrival? What is meant by Chartered plane or hired plane?

So why will a plane the Hajj board chartered with the pilgrims money refuse to render its services until the intervention of the president, which needs to be confirmed to know if there's an iota of truth. Damn!!!

Why should politics be part of religious activities? On whose authority were images of the president kept all over the hajj village? What is its significance?

Is it political or Islamic? It's purely political and I urge the current or next Hajj committee to desist from it since it makes us as Muslims not respected as it demands. Where in Ghana's Church or a Christian assembly will you see the posters of a political leader all over? They put their religion first before any other thing which I believe some people lack in my part of Religion.

We have remained silent for long and we entreat the authorities responsible for the Hajj board selection to do it on independent and religious grounds not on ethnic or political party affiliation. Our systems are not working and this year has shown how poor our Board is.

This committee needs to be dissolved and be investigated. They lack credibility and if they believe they are credible, they should account for every penny with proof. I just hope and pray we have credible leaders since our representatives at the Hajj board committee are just misleaders.

Abdul - Jawad Tiyumba
(tiyumbajawad@gmail.com)
Ghana.