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Religion of Saturday, 28 September 2013

Source: GNA

1,900 Hajj pilgrims airlifted to Saudi Arabia

Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul-Rauf Tanko, Chairman of the National Hajj Committee, said with the commencement of the 2013 Hajj on Tuesday, about 1,900 Pilgrims had so far been airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrims, airlifted with six flights by Egypt Air, comprise 800 males and 1,100 females.

Alhaji Tanko said this shows progress in the organisation, adding that plans to airlift the remaining paid up prospective pilgrims with the other nine flights were also on course, and their departure from Ghana would be at an average of 12 hours intervals.

A statement signed by Mr Alhassan Suhuyini, Public Relations Officer of the Committee, said all prospective pilgrims were urged to remain calm and be assured that, by God’s grace, they would join the thousands who had already been airlifted to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.

It urged all staff, agents and volunteers working to ensure a successful departure to continue to exhibit the high level of honesty and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

“Once again, I repeat the assurance to pilgrims who could not make it last year that everything is being done to ensure that as many of them as possible are airlifted to perform the rites this year,” the statement quoted Alhaji Tanko as saying.

It said prospective pilgrims were once again reminded that contraband goods such as cola, so far the most attempted trafficked commodity, would be seized by flight officials.

This was to ensure that pilgrims did not run into difficulties with Saudi Arabian Immigration Authorities, the statement said, and urged them to co-operate with the officials.