Government on Friday officially opened the Northern Sector Hajj Village in Tamale for use by prospective pilgrims travelling to this year's pilgrimage in Mecca from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions.
The pilgrims would then be airlifted to Accra for onward travel to the Holy Land.
Even though work is not hundred percent complete on the site, it could be described as usable since only finishing touches such as laying of carpets, fixing of air-conditioners and other minor works.
The Village, which is located close to the Tamale Airport has seen a face lift with about six different camps strategically positioned to contain the over 2,000 prospective pilgrims, who will be using the place from Saturday.
Mr. Alhassan Issahaku, Northern Regional Coordinating Director, who opened the village on behalf of Government, commended the Ghana Armed Force for constructing the village, the President Mr. John Dramani Mahama and the Local Organizing Committee of the National Hajj Committee for the beautiful edifice.
He said government was for the people and must work for the interest of the people to ensure that the needs of all persons and groups were addressed for the growth and development of the nation.
Mr. Issahaku appealed to the pilgrims to be modest in their demands and try to overcome any challenge that they were likely to encounter at the village since it was the first time such an innovation was being introduced in the area.
Mr. Sulemana Mahamadu, Secretary to the Local Organizing Committee of the National Hajj Committee also commended the President, who he said has shown much interest in Hajj activities and even made personal donation towards the Hajj board and pledged their indebtedness to him.
He announced that the first flight for the Northern Sector pilgrims will leave on Sunday the 30th and cautioned them to keep away people who were not travelling from the village, adding that “There are security zones at the village beyond which people will not be allowed”.
Alhaji Osmanu English, Deputy Director of Operations of the National Hajj Committee expressed gratitude to the organizers of the village saying “This village has minimized the pressure and inconvenience our brothers and sisters go through yearly”.
He expressed the hope that in the near future, pilgrims will travel straight from the Tamale Airport to Mecca for the hajj.
Alhaji Yakubu Ayana, the Chief Executive Officer of Ayana Travel and Tour Agency said he was hopeful that with the good work done at the facility this year's pilgrimage will be without troubles.
He said his outfit has a total of 502 passengers and that each person paid 3,000 dollars and appealed to the Saudi Arabia Embassy to issue the visas on time to enable the travelers to leave early.
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