A circular by the government of Saudi Arabia stated that pilgrims traveling to that country must do so without Kola nuts.
Deputy Communications Director of the Ghana Hajj board, Mohammed Amin Lamptey, warned pilgrims to adhere strictly to the order and ensure that they do not carry along the banned product to Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudi government believes that a time has come for them to let out their arsenals to stamp out this issue of kola nuts that has been there for years. They have given some space for people to carry along kola nuts because basically we need to believe that some African countries are used to kola nuts, especially the aged who would always want to have kola nuts.”
According to Mr. Amin Lamptey, the Saudi government is intent on executing any pilgrim found carrying kola nuts saying “… It could lead you to losing your life.”
“I think they know the reasons why they are coming up with such restrictions and regulations because this year’s Hajj is very critical. … We know last year what happened and this year, even before the main hajj, there are issues of suicide bombing and all that so they are trying to put things in order to prevent any untold story,” Mr. Lamptey told Class FM.
Over 5,000 pilgrims are expected to be airlifted from Ghana to Saudi Arabia to participate in this year’s Hajj.
Saudi Arabia prohibits kola nuts and other hard drugs they identify as harmful to their citizens.