Prospective pilgrims who could not make it to this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia will have their monies refunded to them by their respective agents.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana (PAOG), Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini who disclosed this said, pilgrims whose documents could not be captured for visa have their money being refunded to them through the agents.
He revealed that an extra flight has been arranged for Sunday to airlift the remaining pilgrims whose documents have finally been successfully processed after a last batch of less than 200 visas delayed due to system and network challenges because visas are procured online.
“Ghana’s quota is about 5400 with11 flights scheduled carrying an average of 500 pilgrims each left as scheduled. Three flights scheduled to depart from tamale had to be increased to 4 which all left and arrived in Madina without a problem. The remaining 7 flights have also since left Accra and arrived in Madina successfully. The last scheduled flight on Tuesday left Accra successfully. So far about 5000 Ghanaian pilgrims who left either from tamale or Accra are in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia without any challenge. An extra flight has been arranged for Sunday to airlift remaining pilgrims whose documents have finally been successfully processed. The last batch of less than 200 visas delayed due to system and network challenges because visas are procured online”, he said.
This comes on the back of claims by a group calling itself the stranded 2016 prospective hajj pilgrims accusing PAOG of to of deceit and inhumane treatment being meted out to them.
Convener of the group Shehu Alwala Abdi said “It has been over a week now and as at the time of issuing this press release, all the eleven scheduled flights to Saudi Arabia have left Ghana, yet hundreds of prospective paid-up pilgrims are stranded at the Hajj Village without any reliable information on when they will travel. It has been consistent tales of misinformation, deceit and frustrations as a result of a complete breakdown of official communication from Hajj authorities.PILOLOO BANNER-newWe have been left stranded and wandering about hopelessly at the Hajj village under very deplorable condition. Some of those from outside Accra are the most affected because for more than a week, they have been forced to sleep in the open under mosquito-infested canopies at the village with a fading hope of catching a flight.
Our hopes of making the journey to the Holy Land are fast fading because of the consistencies in the deceitful stories we have been told.
Ever Since the 11th flight left on the dawn of Tuesday August 30, there has been conflicting information on what next for stranded paid up pilgrims who have been unacceptably left at the mercy of the cold weather and mosquitoes at the Hajj Village