Mecca Stampede: Bawumia and Chief Imam are SAFE

Bawumiah and Chief ImamVice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, who is safe in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, together with the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Sharabutu, is asking Ghanaians to remember the over 700 people who died in Thursday’s stampede.

Dr. Bawumia in a facebook post moments after the stampede said he was alive and fine.

“It is my hope that we remember all those who have passed away in the course of this Hajj in our prayers. May Allah have mercy on their souls and grant them jannatul firdaus (Highest part of Paradise) and may Allah heal the injured wishing that Allah accepts our good deeds and sacrifices, alleviates our sufferings and forgives our transgressions”.

The stampede occurred when the pilgrims were going through a ritual known as ‘stoning the devil.’ Over eight hundred of them were also injured in the process.

Ghana’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Said Sinare, says for now no Ghanaian has been confirmed to be among the dead yet, adding they are keenly monitoring events.

“So far so good; we have not had any incident and no Ghanaian has been involved in what happened yesterday. By the end of today, we should be able to let the people of Ghana know whether we have any casualties or not. Everybody was in Mina at that time because it’s a very big place. It affected a lot of people from the Asian countries. The national chief Imam is safe; we are sharing the same room with him; members of the government delegation and other VIPs including the Vice presidential candidate of the NPP Dr. Bawumia are all safe” he noted.

Meanwhile two Ghanaian pilgrims, a male and a female believed to be over 70 years have died in Saudi Arabia, but their demise is not related to the stampede.

Commenting on that incident, Alhaji Said Sinare advised authorities in Ghana to prevent the aged persons from traveling to Mecca due to the rigorous nature of the exercise.

“The only incident we had was before the Mina incident of Thursday. One man from the Upper West Region died in Madina and the other lady from Kumasi died in Mecca about a week ago. The weather could be a factor for their death but I actually don’t know the cause because the lady passed away whiles she was sleeping but the man was not doing too well. It’s also my advice that Hajj is not an easy exercise at all so I wish we could also prevent elderly people from embarking on such an exercise. It’s a very difficult task and it’s even worse when you are old and you don’t have anyone to help you around” he lamented.