Hajj Pilgrims to vote before June 24
The chairman of the presidential Task Force- Alhaji Mutali Sesay, and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare- Mohamed Haji Keller, updated the press 18th May 2023 at the Ministry of Information and Communications conference room about key activities that they have undertaken for the 2018 pilgrimage to Mecca.
He said the 2023 pilgrims would depart Sierra Leone for Saudi Arabia on the 17, 18th or 19th of June, and are expected to return early second week July 2023.
He however furthered that they have had fruitful arrangements with the Electoral Commission- Sierra Leone (ECSL) for the pilgrims to cast their votes prior to the June 24th multi-tier general election.
He informed that only pilgrims who have visas would be allowed to vote before departing Sierra Leone.
He said that the cost of embarking on the 2023 Hajj Pilgrimage is $6,700 per pilgrim; and that there are already 640 pilgrims, 65 percent of total 1,200 spaces.
He furthered that the stipulated date for all payments to be made is 25th May 2023. ‘‘We have assigned a chief medical officer, two doctors, two nurses and one pharmacist for the pilgrims.’’ he said.
He strongly advised for pilgrims to be law-abiding.
The Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Mohamed Haji Keller, said the 2022 pilgrims faced unforeseen problems at the eleventh hour, a reason why they took a religious-based guide to prevent such.
He informed that the flight that came had only a 270 capacity for 360 pilgrims, a reason for the advice from Islamic scholars to give priority to all the female pilgrims and the elderly born before 1960.
He reassured that all those who were disappointed in 2022 HAJJ provision have been included in this year’s pilgrimage.
Alhaji Mutali Sesay, who has served in the capacity of Chairman of the Land Commission, Vice Chairman of the Inter Religious Council, and president of Pharmacy Board, said their job at the Presidential Task Force is to ensure 100 percent delivery regarding the welfare and safety of the pilgrims, and to present a report and recommendation of their work to President Bio and the Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh.
He added that the Presidential Task Force is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Social Welfare, Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs.
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