A total of 500 Muslims scheduled to take off from the Tamale Airport direct to Mecca for this year’s hajj, are being taken through immigration processes for the maiden flight Friday afternoon, which the government has described as historic.
As of 9:30am Friday morning, a total of 200 people had been cleared for transportation from the Hajj Village to the Tamale Airport, which is about 30-minute drive from the Tamale Jubilee Park where the exercise is ongoing.
A Saudi Arabia government-owned Nas Airline [Boeing 740-400 series], is scheduled to arrive at the Tamale Airport at exactly 12 noon, and takeoff to the holy city of Mecca at 2:00pm.
Abdul Dramani Garu, a would-be pilgrim, says he is excited by the fact that he has been spared the hustle of travelling to Accra and sometimes staying for days before flying to Mecca to hajj.
“I cannot express my joy today; going to hajj without witnessing the stress that characterise the pilgrimage,” he told our correspondents Friday morning after he was screened by authorities.
TV3’s Zubaida Ismail and Rabiu Tanko who are monitoring the event say the screening is being undertaking by the officials of the Ghana Immigration, Ghana Airport Company, the military, National Security and other auxiliary staff.
“Medical personnel from the Tamale Teaching Hospital are also here to offer medical services to those who may require any emergency medical needs,” Zubaida reports
Our correspondents report that a special Quran prayers were said Friday morning for all the would-be pilgrims for a successful hajj pilgrimage.
Public Relations Officer at the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana, Alhaji Alhassan Suhini said all arrangements have been put in place to ensure this year’s hajj is successful.
The decision to fly would-be pilgrims directly from Tamale to Mecca stemmed from the confusion and long delays have over the years characterised the event as a result of the convergence of all would-be pilgrims in Accra for takeoff at Kotoka Int. Airport
The Tamale Airport is thus to complement and ease pressure on Kotoka International Airport .