THE TAMALE Sports Stadium has been chosen as the alternative place to set up the Hajj village for the processing and documentation of the 2017 pilgrims in the northern zone.
It is also to ensure the safety, comfort and security of the about 3,000 Muslims expected to embark on this year’s pilgrimage to the holy land of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from the Northern zone of Ghana.
Last year, some of the pilgrims were robbed at their camp at the Tamale Jubilee Park, which was also quite an uncomfortable place to lodge.
The Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheikh I.C Quaye was in Tamale with other members of the board to inspect facilities at the Tamale Sports Stadium, where they have decided to set up the Hajj village, to process the documentation of the pilgrims from the northern zone.
They also inspected the facilities at the Tamale International Airport, where the pilgrims will fly directly to Mecca, instead of the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
The Chairman said that Ghana had been allocated a 6,800 quota for 2017 by the Saudi Arabian government, but the Hajj Board, he indicated, had budgeted for 6,200. He said serious efforts were being made to secure funding for the remaining 600.
Sheikh I.C Quaye explained that the Hajj Board would start airlifting the pilgrims from August 10, 2017, in six batches from the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, for those at the southern zone and Tamale Airport for those in the northern zone.
He was impressed with the early preparation towards the hajj programme by the security and the management of the Tamale International Airport.
Sheikh I.C Quaye, however, appealed to all hajj agents to educate their clients on how to process their passports and their air ticket on time, to enable the appropriate security agencies to process them. The Hajj team was led by the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed.
From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale