Non-Muslims went for Hajj – Official

Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Chairman of National Hajj Board

There is growing rancour among members of the newly constituted Ghana Hajj Board as its chairman Sheikh IC Quaye is being accused of running a unilateral system.

The veteran politician allegedly gave the green light for some non-Muslims to go to Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj, which is strictly for Muslims.

“It’s so strange and quite unfortunate this really happened. Who are you to question IC Quaye?” a board member informed

“I’m talking about people who are not Muslims and not even part of the Board but were officially flown to Saudi as part of the Hajj team on the authority of the Chairman. It has never happened before as far as I’m concerned,” the official stressed.

Some Hajj Board members who are unhappy about developments have expressed reservations about the management style and decisions of Sheikh Quaye, an ardent New Patriotic Party (NPP) official and a close friend of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Hajj officials who pleaded anonymity alleged the former MP of Ayawaso Central has imposed his favourites on heads of department and “that is making work rather difficult.”

One of the impositions in the Communications department is currently a subject of an investigation by both the Nima and Airport Police over payment made for the Hajj but struggling to make refund of pilgrims’ monies.

The communication official Zak Rahman confessed to in an earlier report that he took monies from prospective pilgrims but “things didn’t work out” so he is making frantic efforts to refund the amount in the range of Gh¢40,000.

The police have confirmed Rahman is being investigated over the issue and has made some part payments.

“There is currently a board within a board. His [IC Quaye] trusted allies are those with whom he takes vital decisions,” the official stated.

Woeful Hajj

Some of the board members are also alleging that accommodation in Saudi was woefully inadequate although all pilgrims paid for the accommodation. They claim 12-10 pilgrims instead of four – as promised by the Board – occupied a room. “It was a serious issue.”

“For the first in the history of Hajj, most pilgrims could not return with their luggage. Five containers of the luggage of pilgrims are yet to arrive in Ghana,” the board member opined.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Hajj Board Sheikh Quaye has told he will only respond to the allegations levelled against him if only the “accusers will be bold enough to meet me face to face.”

“People are just bent on ruining my name but I can assure you that we organized one of the best Hajjs this year,” he said.