Minister Fights For Kumasi Pilgrims

The long-cherished desire of Muslim pilgrims in the Ashanti Region to fly directly from the Kumasi Airport to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj has been given a massive boost.

This pleasant news follows the decision of the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, to champion the crusade of the Muslims to ensure that the wish of the pilgrims is granted.

According to the minister, he would personally write to the appropriate bodies to implement policies that would make it possible for pilgrims to fly directly from the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, to Mecca.

“I have heard your concerns and challenges regarding the difficulties that Muslims in this region go through before you travel from Kumasi to Accra to catch a flight to the holy city of Mecca annually.

“I can assure you that … I will personally write to the appropriate quarters to, possibly, pave the way for pilgrims to fly directly from Kumasi to Mecca,” the minister stated.

He was responding to a passionate appeal made to him by Sheikh Mohammed Ridwan Kudi Bawasaba, the Tafo Hausa Imam and one of the revered Muslim clerics in Kumasi.

The occasion was the 10th Annual Ashanti Regional Conference of the Federation of Women Organization.

Early on, Sheikh Mohammed Ridwan Kudi Bawasaba lamented that Muslims in the Ashanti Region had suffered for a long time, by risking their lives to travel by road to Accra to board a plane to Mecca.

He said out of the 6,000 Muslims that usually emplane to Mecca annually, about 2,000 of them are Muslims from the Ashanti Region alone.

Sheikh Kudi Bawasaba indicated that Hajj Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, had given an assurance that pilgrims would be flown from Kumasi to Mecca starting from 2017, but that promise still remains a mirage. He urged the Ashanti Regional minister to help them.