President Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in a photograph with the newly sworn-in Hajj Board members
President Akufo-Addo yesterday swore in members of the newly constituted Hajj Board and charged them to live up to expectations.
“I’m anticipating that with the caliber of people that has been assembled on the Board this year under the leadership of a well known public figure: a man who has distinguished himself in the service of our country, the problems associated with the annual pilgrimages will be a thing of the past.”
“We will see a smooth seamless movement of people to and from Mecca as a regular occurrence.”
The 11-member board is chaired by Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso Central and Greater Accra Regional Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
The members are Abdul Malik Adams Gariba, Farouk Hamza, Sheikh Amin Bonsu, Alhaji Inusa Amadu and Kamal-Deen Abdulai as members.
The rest include Ismaela Ibrahim, Mohammadu Osmanu Alidu, Mohammed OsumanuYunusah, Braimah Adams and Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed.
Dr. Seidu Zakaria, Alhaji Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomda and Dr Sani Abdulai were also sworn in as heads of Medical, Communications and Information Technology (IT) for the Board respectively.
The Board is mandated by law to organize Ghanaian pilgrims to the holy sites in Mecca on an annual basis.
In swearing in members of the newly constituted Hajj Board, President Akufo-Addo expressed concern about the sometimes poor organization of Hajj.
According to him, “There have been several occasions in our history when that organization has not been as well as it should be.”
The President charged members of the Board to live to expectations, saying “the nation expects a good job from you and I’m confident that you are going to do that for the Ghanaian people.”
On behalf of his colleagues, the Board Chairman of the newly constituted Hajj Board, Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, thanked the President for the opportunity given them to serve the government and people of Ghana.
But that was not without the usual jokes that have often characterized his speeches.
Expressing appreciation to the President for his decision to appoint them to serve on the Hajj Board, he was like “Ei, the President has done it oo,” throwing the entire hall into a state of laughter.
On a more serious note, he stated “we shall always cherish your good memories for this that you have done for us, we will continue to pray and pray that you succeed in the governance of this country.”
“On behalf of the members of the Board and on my own behalf, I promise to uphold you, hold your good name and to cooperate with all Muslims so that pilgrims will go to perform the Hajj with ease and comfort,” he noted.
“We promise and hope that this year’s Hajj will be a Hajj of difference Insha Allah.”
On his part, the National Chief Iman, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who was present at the occasion, tasked the Board to do whatever is humanly possible to ensure an incident-free Hajj this year and successive years to come.
“You have to abide by the rules and regulations of the country and also abide by what you’ve promised to do; you have promised almighty Allah, you have promised Prophet Mohammed, you have promised the President that you are going to work so hard to ensure that this year’s hajj is going to be free of any challenges.
He consequently charged all Muslims to pray for the President, his government and the nation when they get the privilege to go to Mecca.
The Chief Imam took the opportunity to pray God to help the President and his government to lead the nation to prosperity.
Moments later, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu and Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, toured the site of the new national mosque which is still under construction at the Kawukudi Junction in Accra.
Dr Bawumia thanked the government and people of Turkey for their support in the construction of the mosque, expressing hope that the project would be completed by the end of the year.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Jubilee House