The Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, has thrown a challenge to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to redeem his pledge to the Muslim community in Ghana.
He said that it is time for the vice president to come to the aid of the community by ensuring that the new fare of GH¢75,000 for potential pilgrims looking to go for the 2023 Hajj in Mecca, is reviewed.
He explained that it is necessary that Dr Bawumia comes through for the Muslim community, as a way of fulfilling his campaign promise to them before he came into government.
The MP also described the new fare as insensitive and inflated.
“I have done some checks, and it is clear that the fares that have been announced this year is insensitive and has been inflated. I think His Excellency, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, must stand out to be counted.
“And, I’m calling on him in particular because in his campaigns to be vice president, he made it a point to promise Muslim communities that he was going to represent them at the Jubilee House, and that he was going to represent their interests. The time has come for him to stand out to be counted as especially it relates to the performance of Hajj,” he said.
Alhassan Suhuyini also explained that when he was a member of the Ghana Hajj Board Board, one of the interventions they undertook was to ensure that there was a special exchange rate allotted to them so that all potential pilgrims enjoy some discounts.
He also said that at the time the current government took over from them, the fare for Muslim pilgrims was at $3,450, making the new charges unacceptable.
“Previously, what government did, because I was a member of the committee, was even in some cases, provide a special exchange rate for the Hajj Board, so that they could maintain the price at a level that Muslims who wanted to undertake this religious mandate, could afford to.
“But to announce GHc75,000 fare for Hajj this year, at a time when we are going through the economic troubles that we all know, is simply insensitive and unfair. In fact, this government inherited the Hajj fare at $3,450 in 2016. Today, they are demanding $6,500; that is insensitive, that is unacceptable."
The Tamale North MP also stressed that Ghana’s current fare for pilgrims is the highest in the sub-region and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia must do everything possible to ensure that this is reviewed.
“Togo is paying less, Nigeria is paying less, Ivory Coast is paying less, even people flying from the United States of America are paying less than Ghana is expected to pay. I think it is time for the vice president to actually honour his pledge to Muslim community,” he said.
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