In spite of the increase in Hajj fares by the Saudi Arabian government, the cost of pilgrimage will not go up as the Ghana government has absorbed part of the cost, Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
The Vice-President who joined Muslims in the Northern regional capital, Tamale, for the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers, said the government had put adequate measures in place to enable more pilgrims to perform this year’s Hajj, reports Samuel Duodu.
According to the Hajj Board, pilgrims will have to pay GHȼ15,000, an equivalent of $3,450 for the 2018 Hajj.
The actual fare is GH¢19,500, but the government has absorbed GH¢4,500 for each pilgrim.
Dr Bawumia, who hails from the region, appealed to the faithful, especially the youth, to be moderate in their celebration to avoid accidents on the roads, in his address after the prayers.
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He called on Muslims to reunite and remain steadfast in promoting peace and unity in the region.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia (middle) at the Eid prayers in Tamale
He emphasised that Islam stood for peace and, therefore, Muslims should continue to seek peace, by forgiving and tolerating one another, as demonstrated in the holy month of Ramadan.
He noted that tensions which hitherto, characterised the Ramadan, were a thing of the past and commended the Imams of the various Islamic sects for upholding the teachings of Islam and committing themselves to peace.
The Vice-President reiterated the government’s commitment to construct the first interchange in Tamale to ease traffic congestion and give the metropolis a facelift.
Although he did not give a timeline and details of the cost of the project, it is expected to be constructed at Point 7 in Tamale, and would stretch from the Gulkpe-Na’s Palace to the central business district.
Upper East Region
In Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, the Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari, entreated Muslims in the region to cultivate the virtues of tolerance, inclusion, prayer and goodwill, as they celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr, reports Vincent Amenuveve.
"We should, therefore, use this occasion to appeal to the youth, to also reject tendencies that divide Muslims and other people, “he said, when he joined scores of Muslims to pray at the Crafts Centre Park.
With the government hoping to use the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development to transform Zongo communities, he said Muslim youth would be trained in vocational skills, provided with educational infrastructure and scholarships.
From Tema, Benjamin Xornam Glover, reports that hundreds of Muslims assembled at the Tema Sports Stadium and were led by the Metropolitan Imam, Alhaji Adam Abubakar, to offer prayers to Allah, for guiding the Muslim community through a successful Ramadan.
They also prayed for the prosperity of the President, his vice, ministers of state and the MCE of Tema, in their quest to develop the nation.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Felix Mensah Anang-La, who joined in the prayers, congratulated the Muslim community for going through one month of fasting.
He said the government was committed to the development of Zongos, and as such the President had constituted a board for the Zongo Development Fund, to begin a new approach to the sustainable development of the Zongo communities.
From Ho, Kofi Atsivor reports that Muslims in the municipality converged on the Ho Police Depot Park in the Volta Region to mark the end of their 30-day Ramadan, with the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration.
Led by the acting Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Alfa Anas Hamidu, the Islamic faithful thanked Allah for successfully guiding them to fulfil one of the key pillars of Islam.
They also prayed for the peace and progress of the region and the country.
Imam Hamidu in his message, entreated the Muslim faithful to live the lessons of Ramadan in their daily endeavours and always be at peace with one another, including non-Muslims, in fulfilment of the teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Maxwell Blagodzi, who joined the Muslims for the celebration, commended them for going through the spiritual exercise and cautioned Muslim youth to celebrate in moderation.
He, on behalf of the Municipal Assembly and the Regional Coordinating Council, presented 50 bags of rice and 20 cartons of cooking oil for the celebration.
From Kumasi, Daniel Kenu & Emmanuel Baah report that the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, urged Muslims to strive to promote peace and good neighbourliness.
“Ghana, above all things, needs peace to enable every citizen to go about his or her legitimate duties unhindered,” he told a congregation of Ahmaddiyya followers on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr, in Kumasi.
Some Muslims offering prayers at Ejura
The CEO reminded the congregation to uphold the sanctity of the feast by renewing their faith, while cleansing their souls of bad practices likely to bring their reputation into disrepute.
At the Kumasi Central Mosque, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, entreated all Ghanaians to be law-abiding and patriotic.
He said nation-building hinged on discipline and honesty and for that reason, it was the duty of all to remain committed to the cause of the nation.
A mammoth Muslim congregation on the street leading to the Kumasi Central Mosque at Asawase. Pictures: EMMANUEL BAAH
The Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun, lauded the government for the various pro-poor policies it had rolled out.
Nana Yaw Barimah reports from Ejura that Barima Osei-Hwedie II, the Ejurahene, joined a large number of Muslims to celebrate the Eid ul-Fitr, to mark the end of Ramadan.
The Ejurahene, who is also the Adontenhene of the Asante-Mampong Traditional Area, was accompanied by the Queen, Nana Akua Tiwaa II and some elders.
Barima Osei-Hwedie, in his address, commended the Muslims for their one-month fasting and prayers which, he said, could help bring peace, unity and prosperity to the nation.
Brong Ahafo Region
Biiya Mukusah Ali reports from Sunyani that the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, joined scores of Muslims in the Sunyani Municipality to pray to Allah to mark the end of the Ramadan at the Sunyani Jubilee Park.
The Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Umar Abdul-Kadir, led the prayers for unity, peace, protection and knowledge for the leaders of the country.
He advised Muslims to stay holy as they did during the fast period, saying“the end of the fasting is not the end of holiness.”
For his part, Mr Asomah-Cheremeh thanked the Muslims for their physical and spiritual support towards the development of the region and called on them to support the President to deliver on his campaign promises.
Deborah Oluwamuyiwa reports that Muslims in Cape Coast and its environs converged on their various prayer grounds to thank Allah for blessing and guiding them throughout the month of fasting.
At the Cape Coast Technical School park, the Abura Zonal Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Maulvi Ahmed Tahir Mirza, who led the congregation in prayers, advised Muslims to continue practising the moral values they exhibited during the Ramadan period.
At the Holy Child School park, where the Tijaniyya Muslims converged, the Cape Coast Chief Imam, Mallam Yusif, urged the youth to avoid excessive celebration and guard against negative behaviours that could land them in trouble.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast North and Deputy Minister of Education, Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, called on all Muslims to pray for the development of the country and its leaders.