President Mahama apologizes to unsuccessful Hajj Pilgrims
President John Dramani Mahama has apologized to all Muslims especially those who were not airlifted to Saudi Arabia to perform the rites of Hajji this year.
Speaking at the Independence Square in Accra to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Adha prayers, the President expressed his dissatisfaction with challenges associated with the organization of this year’s Hajj.
“I wish to express my regret to all who due to certain reasons were unable to embark on the Hajj this year,” President Mahama said.
The President’s comment comes days after hundreds of prospective pilgrims were stranded for days at the hajj village in Accra, and failed to make the trip.
Some prospective pilgrims accused the organizers of sending non-Muslims and business men and women to Saudi Arabia, only to do business and not to perform the rite.
But the President rejected this claims explaining that, “the dramatic growth in pilgrim numbers beyond the quota that was assigned Ghana by the Saudi authorities” was a factor that contributed to the challenges.
In order to forestall these challenges in the future, President Mahama noted that the Hajji board will request an increase in quota for Ghana next year.
“I have asked the Hajj committee to request an increase in our quota of pilgrims from the current 5,424, to 7,000 pilgrims next year,” he noted.
President John Dramani Mahama also urged Ghanaians to uphold the country’s image as a model of democracy in Africa in the 2016 general elections.
He emphasized the need for Ghanaians to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.
“As we gradually inch towards the 2016 general elections, we should all endeavor to uphold the peace that has characterized our elections. It is this that has made us to be described as the model of democracy in Africa. I am always thankful that Allah has blessed me with the opportunity to be the President of such an industrious united and peace loving people like Ghanaians. It is for this reason that I am very confident that once again when our democratic credentials are tested on December 7, we will respond with vigor and deliver yet another peaceful, fair and transparent election to the world.”