The first batch of Hajj Pilgrims who were flown directly from the Tamale International Airport to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia have touched down at the Tamale Airport on Thursday, 22nd September, 2016.
The pilgrims who went for a month purification were welcomed by a delegation led by the Northern Regional Minister Mr. Abdallah Abubakari. Other members of the delegation were the Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Salaam Ahmed as well as some of the members of the Hajj board.
The pilgrims whom for the first time had to fly directly from Tamale without any difficulties expressed gratitude for such an initiative saying it has helped to reduce cost.
In all four flights were scheduled to touch down at the Tamale Airport from Friday 23rd to Sunday, September 25, 2016 barring unforeseen circumstances.
The first batch of 504 pilgrims from Saudi Arabia arrived in Tamale with the Arabian Boeing flight 747 that landed at exactly 3.45pm out of the 1,500 Muslim Pilgrims were airlifted directly from the Tamale Airport on Friday, August 19, 2016 which coincided with the inauguration of the first phase of the upgrading of the Tamale Airport into an international status. His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the airport at a grand ceremony attended by Chiefs, Imams, and people from Northern Region and beyond.
The entire Metropolis was thrown into excitement with family members and sympathizers who throng to the Tamale Jubilee Park to welcome the pilgrims.
Some relatives and friends of the Pilgrims who had gathered at the Jubilee Park in Tamale, which serves as the Hajj village and the reception centre could not hide their excitement as they thanked Allah for bringing back home their relatives safely.
The Pilgrims were transported from the Tamale Airport onboard Metro Mass Transit buses to the Hajj village at the Jubilee Park Tamale, received a rousing welcome when they got to the central business district area in the metropolis where some people had lined the street to catch a glimpse of the cheerful Hajj returnees.
It also increased business activities with food vendors cashing at the event while hospitality and other small businesses also cashing to make more profit.
Addressing the first batch at the Tamale airport, the Hon. Regional Minister expressed gratitude to the pilgrims for collaborating with government and the hajj agencies to ensure a fruitful journey.
He reiterated government’s assurance of peaceful pilgrimages and the attraction of more investors into the region hence the expansion of the airport to boost business activities in the region.
He also commended the security agencies for their tremendous efforts to ensure peace before during and after the pilgrim exercise saying, “the intervention of the security helped to ensure smooth pogrammes”.
He also called on the Hajj agencies to sensitize the clients on the rules governing the trips to enable the pilgrims know the goods to carry along and those not acceptable, to avoid any future encountering with the airport officials.
SOURCE: Bidoma Dawuni
Public Relations Officer