Ghana’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Said Sinare has asked government to consider banning the aged from embarking on a trip to perform the annual hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
He was commenting on the death of some senior citizens who took part in the ritual.
According to the Ambassador, five died in a stampede while eight others died natural deaths adding that 21 have also gone missing after a head count.
“Some died in the clinics and others died while they were asleep. Some are very old.”
Alhaji Sinare lamented that the aged usually lose their lives during the pilgrimage because it is a tough exercise and “if you are not strong, you will go down.”
The Ambassador while speaking on Eyewitness News said he will recommend to government to consider stopping senior citizens from going to Saudi Arabia saying “…this is one of my recommendations that I’m going to give to government at the end of the day.”
He also suggested that elderly persons who still insist on embarking on the pilgrimage should have aides.
“I want to advise our people back home that any time they want to perform the hajj, then it is better to get an extra ticket for someone who is very young to take care of them because it’s not an easy exercise. If you are not strong, believe me, you will go down,” he added.
“In a situation where the elderly who are very old and they don’t have anybody to take care of them then they shouldn’t allow them to perform the hajj because it doesn’t make sense at all to me; because they come here they go through hell.”
Over 700 pilgrims lost their lives in a stampede when the pilgrims were going through a ritual known as ‘stoning the devil.’
The incident has been described as the deadliest to have occurred in the 25-year history of Hajj.