Hajj pilgrims warned against carrying luggage with unverified contents
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Accra – Alhaji Mohammed Osumanu Yunusah, a member of the Ghana Hajj Board has warned Hajj pilgrims against carrying or claiming the luggage of others at security checkpoints especially when they can’t verify its content.

“Never help anyone carry his luggage at the immigration check. I did it and nearly landed myself in trouble. If not for Allah I would have been gone by now” he said

Mr Yunusah disclosed that he had on two occasions avoided arrest by the skin of a tooth.

The prior experience he recalled was during the last hajj where he unsuspectingly fell for bait to collect a piece of luggage on behalf of some pilgrims who were reluctant to confront airport security for their items.

He said he was fortunate to have been hinted by some security personnel who revealed to him that the said luggage was believed to contain some banned substances, suspected to be narcotics.

Mr Yunusah, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Free Hajj School organised by the Muslim Ummah Development Initiative (MUDI) HajjUmra Services Limited also warned prospective Hajj pilgrims against paying monies into the personal accounts of unaccredited agent hajj agents.

The situation he said had led to the incarceration of unscrupulous persons accused of taking lump sums of money from unsuspecting prospective pilgrims last year with the promise of facilitating their pilgrimage.

Mr Yunusah who is also a Shareholder at the MUDI Group said the delay in making payment to the board by some agents was a result of expecting ‘connection tickets’ which are usually offered at lower prices.

Connection tickets are those resold to agents usually at lower prices due to the inability of original owners to embark on the pilgrimage.

He has therefore warned the public against dealing with people who parade themselves as Hajj board members and would want to receive monies from pilgrims on behalf of the board.

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The free hajj school, held in Accra over the weekend is a multi-lingual annual programme that will be replicated within a five-month period across various venues in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.

This year’s edition theme was “schooling the pilgrims for a complete, accepted and rewarding hajj”.

MUDI free Hajj School seeks to complement the efforts of the National Hajj Board by educating potential Ghanaian pilgrims.

It provides courses that cover the historic background of Hajj and Umrah, the jurisprudence of Hajj and Umrah and the practical guide on how to perform Hajj and Umrah.

The Chairman of MUDI, Alhaji Haruna Alhasan expressed his displeasure over the level of ignorance and suffering of some Ghanaian pilgrims during hajj.

He recalled performing his pilgrimage without anyone educating him on the nitty-gritty of hajj.

“You need to know what you want to do, know how to do it and when you get there, you do it properly,” he said.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of MUDI Group, Abdel-Manan Abdel-Rahman, has lamented over the poor conduct of pilgrims during hajj where some would be seen hurling insults at each other or fighting in public.

All these abhorred acts he indicated emanated from the lack of education on the part of pilgrims who fail to appreciate the process.

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