Friday, December 29, 2006

H.E. Tejan Kabbah makes his last trip to Mecca as President

President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has in a special flight from Lungi International Airport in the early hours of Tuesday December 26th 2006, embarked upon a trip to Mecca to perform this year's Hajj. The President who will be handing over to a successor some time late next year was fortunate to be able to enter Mecca and perform his last Hajj as President. Hundreds of other Sierra Leonean would-be pilgrims were however not so fortunate and were left stranded at the Lungi Airport. Last ditch attempts by the Honourable Vice President Berewa who personally undertook a mission to have the would-be Hajj Pilgrims board a flight to Mecca yesterday, proved futile as the arranged flight actually took off from Lungi International Airport only to be turned back upon arrival at Guinea where the flight was supposed to have briefly transited. The flight was returned to Freetown when word was announced that the Mecca airspace was now closed for this year's Hajj. The frustrated would-be pilgrims and their relatives caused a riotous scene at the airport, and only a robust police presence saved the situation from deteriorating into violence and damage to the airport. The sad situation in Sierra Leone is however not unique only to Sierra Leonean would-be pilgrims. The same reports of aspiring pilgrims being turned back is being reported all over Muslim Africa and in many other places around the world including even in parts of America. It will appear that there has been a marked increase in the number of Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Source: Sierra Leone's President Kabbah makes his last trip to Mecca as President: Sierra Leone News