Accra New Town won the GHS10,000 at stake at the African Games Zongo Football Competition after walloping Madina 4-0 in the final on Sunday.
Bernard Cofie, 30, also from Accra New Town emerged the top-scorer after netting 4 goals in 3 games. The winners took home a giant trophy sponsored by P5 Ventures. Skipper Cofie struck thrice with Mubarak Yahaya adding the other goal.
Eight (8) Muslim communities featuring Maamobi, Sukura, Madina, New Town, Cow Lane, Fadama, Nima, and Tudu competed for the ultimate.
The rationale behind the African Games Zongo Football Competition was to sensitise everybody, particularly the Muslim community about the 13th African Games.
Nima earned GHS8,000 for finishing in second place while third-placed Maamobi pocketed GHS6,000.
400 pilgrims who departed the Kotoka International Airport in Accra to Saudi Arabia have been received by Ambassador Habib Tijani, Ambassador of Ghana to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Medina.
According to the Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheikh Ibrahim C. Quaye, four flights will move from the Tamale Airport while five will be moving from Accra, from June 30, 2022.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, on Thursday in Accra, Sheikh Quaye said due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, Saudi Authorities placed a ban on Hajj for all foreign pilgrims since 2020.
He said during the two-year ban, over 2000 pilgrims voluntarily opted to leave their fares with the Hajj board with the understanding that they would be considered before other pilgrims when the Hajj commenced in future.
“After the ban on Hajj was lifted this year, quotas of all participating countries have been drastically reduced. Ghana’s quota is 3,069 instead of the 2020 quota of 6,000 pilgrims, and so we will consider those who left their monies with us first before any other pilgrim.”
Sheikh Quaye was however quick to note that all the pilgrims had made an additional payment of GHS 7000.00 to the previous amount of GHS 19, 500 they paid.
He mentioned that the package for new applicants for this year is GHS 39,000.
The Chairman said the Board had concluded all negotiations and arrangements with service providers in Macca, Jeddah and Madina on housing, transport, medical, flight and other services, saying they had fulfilled their pledge to Muslims on changing the face of Hajj in Ghana for the better.
“It is during our term that Ghana has been described as the best among the non-Arab countries in Hajj, and we are poised to even do more in the coming years to gain more recognition.”
In relation to complaints about the high fees for this year’s Hajj, he said the fees charged for the package were due to an increment in charges by service providers, saying that the Board had worked assiduously with assistance from the Government to arrive at the package.
He added that the Saudis hinted earlier and confirmed during a Hajj conference in Jeddah recently that this year’s Hajj would be very expensive due to the increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from five to 15 per cent, the demolition and reconstruction of buildings and hotels in Mecca, the huge investment made in Mina and Arafat by the Kingdom, and the general economic situation.
Sheikh Quaye mentioned that this year, the Saudis had also put in place strict control measures for this year’s Hajj including registering online through e-hajj, age limit of 65 years and testing requirements, vaccination requirements, quarantine requirements, and medical insurance, among others.
He urged Ghanaians to support the board and pray for a successful Hajj this year while calling on potential pilgrims to abide by all rules and regulations in Saudi Arabia in order to have a smooth pilgrimage.
Hajj is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim must make at least once in his or her lifetime. It is the fifth pillar of Islam, performed during the month of Dhul-Hijjaha, the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Source: Zongo Media/ GNA
These are some images, courtesy of the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana.
Here are images of the second flight carrying pilgrims to Medina.
A Latino-Muslim nonprofit in Tijuana, Mexico, has raised funds to build a shelter for asylum seekers and refugees from Ghana, Kenya, Russia and Afghanistan, among others.
It opened the doors of the shelter on Saturday after three years of raising funds.
The two-story shelter is in Tijuana’s Zona Norte close to the U.S.-Mexico border. The 8,000-square-foot facility has the capacity to serve up to 150 people arriving at the border seeking asylum. Some might stay in Mexico, but most are looking to enter the United States. It currently houses 30 people.
“It took a lot of faith, money, effort and patience,” Sonia García, president of the Latina Muslim Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Diego and Tijuana, said before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
García, who grew up Catholic and converted to Islam, has worked in migrant shelters in Tijuana before. This is how she became aware of the growing number of Muslim asylum seekers.
“They were in hotels or shelters without a proper place for worship or halal food,” she said. That’s how the idea of building a shelter came about.
The investment was almost half a million dollars, raised from community donations, García said. The shelter is home to migrants from Kenya, Ghana, Russia and Afghanistan, among others.
“We are safe here,” said Ilyas Salarzai, 22, from Afghanistan. “The Latina Muslim Foundation has been very good.” Salarzai is currently waiting for certain documents as part of his immigration process.
The shelter and mosque was built at a site formerly used for different events. The intention is to provide a comfortable space for migrants arriving in a country with a different culture and language, advocates said.
“They are displaced by war or violence, so we seek to provide them with a little identity so that they feel less stressed in their refugee situation,” said Laura Díaz, architect and project manager.
The shelter will offer housing, food, and clothing, as well as other services, such as legal, medical, psychological, and dental assistance. There will also be workshops and courses.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by authorities from Mexico and the United States, as well as by immigration advocates and dozens of people who gathered at the site.
Military-uniformed men reportedly clashed with some youth in Zamerama Line, a suburb of the Ablekuma Central Constituency in Accra.
According to peacefmonline.com, the men fought with the youth of the Zongo community over a land allegedly belonging to a leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Lord Oblitey Commey, popularly known as Lord Commey.
A video making rounds online showed the uniformed men with guns attacking the youth while threatening to shoot them. Some of the youth were also beaten up.
Hours after the incident, police arrested three people including a soldier. A statement from the police dated June 6, 2022, indicated that the suspects, one Sergeant Isaac Abbey and two others, Gofred Amegbor and Ofei Darko were taken into custody for their involvement in the incident which happened on June 4, 2022.
“Two of the arrested persons, suspects Godfred Amegbor and Ofei Darko who were posing as soldiers also sustained some injuries and were sent to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment,” the statement further said.
In their statements to the police, two of the suspects – Godfred Amegbor and Ofei Darko claimed to also be military personnel although the claims are yet to be verified by the police.
The Police further indicated that the injured persons; Ali Ashillely, Akim Zibo, Salam Musah and Faisal Khalid Azumah who sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds are currently receiving treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment.
After the leak of a letter from the Office of the President reprimanding Sheikh I.C. Quaye for illegally appointing a non-member of the Hajj Board as a signatory to Hajj accounts in Saudi Arabia, the Hajj Board has released a statement refuting claims of disunity among them.
Find the statement below:
The attention of the National Hajj Board has been drawn to some alleged media publications stating that there was a ‘One Man Show at the Hajj Board. Secondly, the Chairman of the board Sheikh I. C. Quaye has ‘snubbed’ His Excellency the President.
The board regards these statements as unfortunate and lacking any merit and must therefore be disregarded.
The board has worked very hard in unity and amity since 2017 to fulfil the mandate and objectives assigned by His Excellency the President Nana Akufo Addo. We have delivered over the years the best Hajj in the history of Hajj in Ghana to the admiration of all and sundry.
The relationship between the President and Sheik I. C. Quaye has always been cordial and respectful and shall remain so. Any attempt to blur this reality is bound to fail.
The writers of these stories without malice misread misinterpreted and misjudged the happenings at the Hajj Board.
If the writers of these stories had followed the time-tested journalistic principle of cross-checking their information as contained in the GJA Code of ethics, this misinformation drive could have been avoided.
We the members of the board are not oblivious of the fact that “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
The members of the board are therefore calling on the General public to disregard these publications.
Islamic University College Ghana (IUCG) recorded an unprecedented history by electing its very first female Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Asiya Rufai.
Asiya Rufai, a level 300 Communication student specialising in Public Relations won by a landslide victory with 52.67% unseating the incumbent vice president Ibrahim Jaiden Zakari to become the first female SRC President since the inception of Islamic University College.
She is the second female to contest the SRC Presidency but the first to achieve that feat. According to her, it’s time women take up the challenge of taking up leadership positions both in school and in society and she believes her victory marks an indelible success in the life of IUCG.
She urges all women not to back down from their dreams and take any spine breaking discouragement as a form of motivation to strive harder in achieving greater heights.
Interestingly, Asiya Rufai chose a male vice president Ismaila Nortey Dowuona, a level 300 Religion student, signifying great teamwork and a perfect gender balance which goes a long way in dissipating the inferiority and superiority complex between men and women. This also emphasises how important it is to support each other for a greater goal.
She intends to use her position to continue the good works of the previous administration and also work tirelessly in achieving her policies to bring change to the institution.
According to her, IUCG has served the community over the years and it’s time for the institution to receive a fair reciprocation.
Islamic University College is an Islamic tertiary institution in East Legon, Adjiriganor in the Greater Accra Region. The College is affiliated with the University of Ghana, Legon and accredited by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). It is an Islamic university but open to all.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia were among a host of dignitaries at the Islamic funeral of former Second Lady, Hajia Ramatu Aliu Mahama.
The ceremony, laced with Islamic protocols for funerals, was a full State function in honour of the former Second Lady.
Hajia Ramatu, the wife of late former Vice President Aliu Mahama, died on April 7 this year and was buried according to Islamic customs in Tamale, the same week she died in April.
The state event in Accra was well attended and graced by dignitaries from all walks of life.
The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, was also in attendance, and so was former President John Agyekum Kufuor, under whose administration Hajia Ramatu was Second Lady.
Other dignitaries who graced the state funeral included traditional rulers, Imams, politicians and the business community.
The National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu officiated the funeral, and a series of supplications were said for the departed Second Lady after the entire Qur’an was recited for her seeking Allah’s mercy.
Touching tributes eulogising the former Second Lady’s works and virtues were read by different groups including her children, family, the NPP and the government.
Hajia Ramatu was Ghana’s Second Lady for two successive terms under the government of President Kufuor between 2001 and 2009.
The New Patriotic Party Deputy Nasara Coordinator for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Constituency, Ibrahim Mohammed, has shockingly expressed that the majority of the Zongo communities have been overlooked by the government.
Mr Ibrahim Mohammed revealed that NPP sympathisers in the various Zongo communities are fed up with the maltreatment given them by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led government.
He also challenged Regional Executives of the party to single out a monumental project done for the Zongo communities after striving to win power for the Akufo-Addo’s government in 2016.
“We have been utilizing our pocket money to underwrite party programs, before and after elections, but we at the Zongo areas have never benefited from this current NPP government. We were denied access to get the MASLOC vehicles which were distributed to our comrades in some parts of the country. We are pleading with President Akufo-Addo to pay attention to our petition and give us some aid,” he underlined.
On the other hand, he appealed to the leadership of the party to ensure NPP will present Dr Bawumia as the flag bearer for the 2024 general elections in order to beak the ‘8’.
“Without Dr Bawumia, the NPP government will lose woefully in the Zongo communities. I am pleading with the delegates to accept the Vice President Dr Bawumia as the flag-bearer for the party come 2024 general polls” Ibrahim Mohammed added.
The Ghana Philanthropy Forum has launched the Volta Muslim Community Development Foundation in Ho to facilitate self-help initiatives among inner-city communities across the Volta Region.
The launch was witnessed by members of the various Muslim communities, where the construction of an Islamic Senior High School for the Volta Region was announced as an initial undertaking.
Dr Ben Ocra, the President of the Ghana Philanthropy Forum, said it would help provide a permanent avenue and forum to build Zongo communities to be aligned with and complement the development objectives of the region and the nation as a whole.
“The Foundation’s existence is worthless if it does not bring forth the desired development of the community,” he said.
Dr Ocra promised to provide a fully furnished office with internet and put in place a constitution, bank account, working committees, a management board, and ensure formal registration.
A suitable means of transportation would also be provided for the administrative officers.
“This Foundation is beyond Zongo communities. It is a structure that would completely fit into national strategic plans,” he said, adding that it would have long and short-term well thought out plans and institute an annual conference to help establish accountability.
The Foundation would maintain a nonpolitical outlook and would be structured to attract all towards the cause of development.
Mr Courage Dei Zanga, the Regional Coordinator of the Ghana Philanthropy Forum, said the Foundation would benefit the youth as numerous job creation avenues were bound to emanate.
Dr Amin Bonso of the Ghana Muslim Mission, who chaired the launch, said the Mission considered such initiatives positive towards the growth of Muslim communities and would offer the needed support.
A fundraiser was held for the construction of the Volta Islamic Senior High School, led by Ouro Abubakar Morla, the Chief of Dodowa Rahmatown.
He donated a 20-acre plot at the Ho Airport vicinity, worth GHC1.6 million, towards the construction of the school, and 350 bags of cement were realised in pledges.
Chairman of the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana, Sheikh Ibrahim Codjoe Quaye, has been reprimanded by the government for appointing a signatory who is not a member of the Hajj Board to the Hajj Accounts in Saudi Arabia.
The reprimand was issued in a letter from the Office of the President dated May 17, 2022, and signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President.
The letter indicated that Sheikh I.C. Quaye had issued a letter on May 15, 2022, to the Ministry of Hajj and Umra of Saudi Arabia “purporting to appoint signatories to the Hajj Accounts of the Pilgrims Affairs Office in Ghana held at the Riyadh Bank, Al-Baghdadiya branch in Jeddah.”
“In this letter, you purported to assign Mr Hamza Tanko as a signatory to the bank account and describe him as a Board Member/ Director Finance. As you are aware, the President is the appointing authority for all appointments to the Hajj Board and the President is not aware of, and has not appointed Mr Hamza Tanko as a member of the Hajj Board.
“The purported designation and description of Mr Hamza Tanko as a Board Member/ Director Finance in your letter is, therefore, without any basis,” the letter added.
Sheikh I.C. Quaye was ordered to remove the name of Mr Hamza Tanko as a signatory to the account and in any other official duties of the Hajj Board.