The 2011 pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca by Muslims in Ghana has taken off with a promise by the National Hajj Committee not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In a release issued in Accra and signed by the spokesperson of the Committee, Alhaji Halidu Haruna, the Committee said all fully paid pilgrims for the 2010 edition who could not make the journey will be offered a first chance this year and also will make a refund of those no longer interested in travelling through their agents.

The statement said all prospective pilgrims can also make payments by installments and assured all members of the Muslim community of a hustle free Hajj for this year.

In an interview with Asempa News, Alhaji Haruna said they are starting early to avoid a rush as happened last year.

The committee said it has managed to resolve the impasse with the creditor of the Interim Hajj Committee [IHMC] of 2008 for the payment of an amount of US$151,000 and GHS2,000 as an out of court agreement.

The National Hajj Committee spokesperson said by next week, all outstanding financial issues would have been resolved.

Alhaji Halidu said for pilgrims who could not collect their luggage after Hajj 2010, the container shall arrive at Tema by the end of January and the NHC will inform them accordingly for collection.

END/Kwadwo Asare-Baffour Acheampong/Asempa 94.7fm/Ghana

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