President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has received all 941 successful Sierra Leonean Muslim pilgrims who returned from performing this year’s pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, saying that they ensured cheaper ticket prices this year.

He acknowledged that there were global challenges and things were hard but noted that his government had the responsibility to get the best rate for flight tickets, when compared to other countries, and made sure his compatriots successfully performed one of the five pillars of Islam.

President Bio described this year’s Hajj process as very challenging but expressed appreciation, on behalf of the nation, for the successful pilgrimage of all delegates from Sierra Leone, who returned safely and healthy.

Member of the Sierra Leone Hajj Committee, Dr. Chernoh Ibrahim Bah, prayed for Allah’s blessings on the leadership and people of the nation. He also prayed for national cohesion, religious tolerance, and acceptance of all prayers offered by the pilgrims in Mecca.

Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Bendu Dassama, thanked President Bio for his show of leadership, responsibility, concern, and commitment to the successful performance of the 2022 pilgrimage. She re-echoed the point that Sierra Leone was among the countries that sent the highest number of pilgrims for this year’s Hajj to Mecca.

She thanked the President and Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh for their demonstration of leadership. She joined the President and pilgrims to praise Allah and thank all other authorities for a peaceful and successful pilgrimage with no deaths recorded.

Haja Aminata Sheriff, on behalf of the pilgrims, thanked President Bio for demonstrating outstanding leadership and for serving as a responsible leader that was caring and listening.

She said they were worried that after the first and second batches of pilgrims had arrived in Saudi Arabia safely, their colleagues in the final batch were still at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi waiting for a flight.

“But we were pleased to later learn that the government, through President Julius Maada Bio, had chartered a flight all in the name of ensuring that the final batch of pilgrims was able to perform Hajj,” she explained.

Haja Sheriff expressed their admiration for the leadership demonstrated by the President and joined all pilgrims in praying for a peaceful election and the success of President Bio at the polls in 2023.