Officials of airline operators, FLY NAS airline company who are responsible in airlifting Ghanaian pilgrims to and fro Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage nearly stopped the Weighing of luggage of Ghanaian pilgrims due to a purported agreement between the airline company and the Chairman of the Ghana Hajj board, Sheikh I. C Quaye without the knowledge of the other members of the Hajj Board.
That agreement according to the airline changes the baggage allowance from 23kg to 20kg per bag but with the intervention of some board members led by the director of finance and administration, Alhaji Farouk Hamza, the issue was resolved back to the 23kg per bag.
Hajj pilgrimage has officially ended and pilgrims from participating countries are gearing up to return back to their respective countries after the Holy exercise.
As part of pre- departure procedures in airlifting Ghanaian pilgrims back to Ghana, the Ghana Hajj Board and management of the airline company, Fly Nas has commenced weighing of bags of pilgrims in meeting the required standard weight per bag which is 23 kilograms.
But in the middle of the exercise in Mecca for the first batch of pilgrims, officials of fly nas airline halted the weighing exercise with a purported document of agreement signed by the Hajj Board chairman, sheikh I.C Quaye reducing the baggage allowance from 23kg to 20kg which did not go down well with members of the board present including the pilgrims who were furious with the new development hence created tension and confusion at the weighing centre.
After some interaction between the members of the board and officials of fly nas, the issue was resolved back to the 23kg and
The director of finance and administration at the pilgrims affairs office of Ghana, Alhaji Farouk Hamza interacting with the media after the incident that halted the weighing exercise, said the weighing of going on well until the officials of the airline company pulled out a document purportedly signed by the Ghana Hajj Board, Sheikh I.C Quaye which totally changes the world accepted baggage allowance agreement of 23 kilograms per bag for each passenger travelling through the airports. According to the director of finance and administration, he together with his colleagues, confronted the airline company officials with the agreed documents which indicated the 23 kilograms per bag for each pilgrim not the 20 kilograms and the issue was resolved and calm was restored at the weighing centre.
Initially when the confusion broke out, pilgrims become furious and agitated at the new directive to reduce the weight of their bags to 20 kilograms when some of them are trying to even make up the 23 kilograms as a result of over stocking of items in their bags. The halting of the exercise created an atmosphere of confusion for pilgrims, task force and other stakeholders present at the weighing centre.
" In fact am very sad for this development when at the time we are even struggling to make up the number of kilograms due to the weight of our bags and now this, no no, is not accepted. They should have informed us in time that is 20 kilograms, if it is true the board chairman really signed for this, then we have a long way to go in Hajj operations" a frustrated pilgrim reacted.
" The People from the airline stopped the exercise when my bags were about to be weigh saying the kilograms is 20 kilograms not 23 kilograms because they have a proof of an agreement signed by the Sheikh I.C Quaye. I was weak immediately they said that but am now alright now that the issue has been resolved to the normal kilograms" a female pilgrim said.
The weighed luggages for the first batch of Ghanaian pilgrims has since been dispatched to the airport for further processing for departure to Tamale.