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Bawumia Rejects ‘Killer’ Hajj Fare
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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has shot down what many Muslims had described as an exorbitant Hajj fare for the 2018 pilgrimage season and directed that the Ghana Hajj Board should maintain last year’s.

Speaking during Prophet Mohammed’s birthday – Maulud Nabiyi – in Kumasi on Saturday, the vice president told the gathering that President Akufo-Addo wants the status quo maintained and has accordingly directed that so be it.

There has been uproar within the Islamic community about what some members of the Hajj Agents’ Association released to their clients as the package for this year’s pilgrimage after a meeting hosted by the Hajj Board at the Hajj Village in Accra.

Being a sensitive subject in the Islamic community, it (subject( went virile with political killjoys jumping into it to give the government a bad name, especially the vice president, at a time when Dr. Bawumia was unaware about the contents of the package.

The veep did not hesitate to wade into the subject when word reached him about the raging controversy occasioned by the package. Upon interrogating the price build-up, he subsequently ordered that the status quo be maintained to reflect the many tax concessions now operative in the country.

Maintaining the status quo is regardless of the increase in the cost of services in Saudi Arabia, factors which ostensibly informed the increase in the cost of the package for 2018, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.

“Dr. Bawumia wants Muslims who embark upon the pilgrimage to get the best out of the religious enterprise and to be spared avoidable inconveniences,” a source close to him has told this paper.

The source claimed that the Number Two Gentleman of the land is ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that Ghanaian Muslims get the best deal as they go to fulfill one of the five pillars of their faith – the performance of the annual ritual of Hajj in Saudi Arabia when possible.

Dr. Bawumia has lived up to the expectation of being a vice president for all faiths in the country as he graces activities of the various churches.

The vice president is observing developments in the management of the annual pilgrimage critically with a view to ensuring that pilgrims do not suffer avoidable travails DAILY GUIDE has reliably learnt.

A press conference to present what the Hajj agents had already spilled out was aborted at the eleventh hour.

By the directive of Dr. Bawumia therefore, last year’s fare of GH¢15,000 ($3,450) would be maintained and not what was transmitted to the agents, which, inclusive of other miscellaneous expenses, stood at GH¢19,500 (USD$4,250). Those who had repeatedly performed the Hajj since 2014 were by the new arrangement going to pay GH¢3,000.

The penalty is a demand from the Saudi authorities to discourage repeated performance of the religious obligation so that others too would have a chance of undertaking it.

The veep has contributed in diverse ways towards the construction of the Kanda Mosque – a project being undertaken by some Turkish organizations and which joins Accra’s skyline as an architectural icon.

The Saudi authorities manage the number of pilgrims to the Kingdom so avoidable challenges such as stampede and the controlled use of utilities are ensured.
Source: Daily Guide

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