The first batch of pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj has left the Tamale Airport for the Holy City of Makkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The flight, which was initially scheduled to take off at 10:45 am experienced some delays and took off at 1pm with 433 pilgrims on board.
Four flights are scheduled to take off from the Northern Regional capital, Tamale with some 1732 pilgrims.
This is the first time, a Hajj Village has been set up at the Tamale airport to facilitate smooth trip with adequate Covid-19 protocols being put in place.
A member of the Hajj board, Alhaji Farouk Hamza, explained the flight schedules for the pilgrimage, saying: “there are four flight plans for Tamale. The first flight as you can see has landed, followed by the second and third flight on Tuesday morning and evening. The last flight will be on Wednesday. Then we move to Accra and continue.”
This is also the first time pilgrims are embarking on pilgrimage since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the pilgrims expressed excitement over the fact that they are making it to the holy city of Makkah at last.
“God has made it again, because, for years, we haven’t been to Hajj. This year, Allah has made it possible. Our challenge was the amount, but we thank Allah, everything is okay,” some of the pilgrims said.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who addressed the pilgrims before take-off, advised them to be law-abiding.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is governed by laws, probably not laws of Ghana and there is the need for them to abide by the laws of Saudi Arabia. Ghana has carved a good name already in the kingdom, so they have to maintain that name,” said the minister.