Yesterday, a clinic was commissioned at the Hajj Village; a milestone which Mrs. Samira Bawumia the Second Lady said shows promise for Hajj 2017.
We have no doubt in our minds about the commitment of the new board towards achieving their goal of a smooth Hajj. Both the President and his Vice demand nothing less from them.
The Second Lady, who was the special guest at the occasion, supported her husband’s optimism that this year’s Hajj would differ positively from the previous years. That is obviously the reason he has showed interest in how things are being managed to achieve the desired goal.
In the past few days, the Second Gentleman has been traveling around the country breaking fast with fellow Muslims. He continues to assure that they would be happy about the smooth Hajj that would be delivered to the Muslim population.
The confidence the Vice President has reposed in those managing the Hajj operations this year is overwhelming.
The Chairman and his team must live up to the expectations of Ghanaians, especially the Vice President, who is throwing everything at his disposal into the Hajj operations.
Abiding by basic management principles is one means of success in this project and this, the board, must bear in mind and avoid actions which can only fast track them to failure. This is the first Hajj under the government of President Akufo-Addo and expectedly in a polarized country, all eyes, especially in the Muslim population, would be on how the annual religious exercise is managed.
When he was inaugurating the board at the Flagstaff House – the first time an inauguration of a Hajj Board took on that stature – the President charged members to deliver a Hajj devoid of avoidable pain.
He definitely was showing the success he longs for in the Hajj operations.
There are only a few more months to go for the first flights to take off from Accra and Tamale; both being departure points.
We have observed over the years how governments have interfered in the business of the Hajj through a gratis patronage of its service. So many persons under the guise of protocol are pushed into the manifests, as it were, to the detriment of those who have long paid for their Hajj package.
This blunder should not be repeated by the present government.
A Hajj policy should eventually be considered if we want a departure from the painful arrangements which have featured over the years; thankfully the Vice President has hinted about such a move.
Those who mismanage the Hajj should be made to suffer for their blunders. We are, for instance, not too enthused about the near silence about determining who was responsible for the non-airlifting of over 400 Ghanaian prospective pilgrims last year.
If this is not probed and those responsible named and punished by being made to refund the monies, a future repeat cannot be avoided.
Best practices should give way to arbitrariness if Hajj operations must succeed.