August 8, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs has cleared an additional twenty-eight people who had paid their money to join 800 Muslim brothers and sisters to perform this year’s Hajj in the Holy Land of Mecca.
According to a release from the ministry, the addition was made possible after the Minister, Baindu Dassama, and the 2018 Hajj Committee pleaded with the Saudi Arabia authorities to accommodate an additional 28 to perform the Hajj in Mecca.
A total of 800 spaces was allocated by Saudi Arabia to Sierra Leone for this year’s Hajj in Mecca. The ministry and Hajj secretariat had advised those intending to perform the Hajj to inform them before proceeding to the bank to pay.
A total of twenty-eight (28) people claimed to have paid their money at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank before July 31, which was the deadline, but the ministry had stated in an earlier press release that they paid after the cut-off point.
The affected people slammed the ministry and Hajj secretariat for depriving them the opportunity to perform the 2018 Hajj in Mecca, and instead gave preference to those with scholarship.
But on Monday, August 6, the ministry put smile on the faces of the affected people when they were informed it would be possibly to travel to Mecca to perform the Hajj.
Meanwhile, the 828 pilgrims are expected to leave the shores of Freetown for Saudi Arabia on 14th and 15th August. Majority of those that will be performing the Hajj are doing so as a result of government scholarship.