Aflao (VR), 0ct 2, GNA - ACI Frederick Baah Duodu, Aflao Sector Commander, Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has debunked claims the presence of a GIS checkpoint at Ativuta, a town in the Ketu South, was frustrating drivers and embarrassing passengers.
He said GIS presence at illegal entry points designated as “Beats” and “Pillars” in border communities and on the road at Ativuta was to enforce the nationwide border closure directive thus, providing security for the people on behalf of the government.
The Aflao GIS Boss said this when representatives of Ketu South Dialogue Platform established by the National Peace Council (NPC) with funding support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to engage with stakeholders in the at-risk Municipality to guarantee peace, called on him.
Mr David Normanyo, Volta Regional Executive Secretary, NPC sought the Command’s response to drivers’ complaints of constant harassment on the roads by GIS officials and other sister security agencies, which the drivers said was impacting negatively on their already sorry situation occasioned by the border closure directive.
These complaints came up at various fora the Platform held for stakeholders that the security officers were either embarrassing them with questions on their citizenship or disembarking passengers from vehicles, threatening the collapse of the transport industry in the area.
But ACI Duodu said border residents should not consider the GIS personnel’s presence as a threat to them because while they were enforcing the border closure directive, it was being done with a touch of human face considering the uniqueness of the Aflao borderline and appealed to the people to also concern themselves with the security of the country, insisting, “we’re not here to worry the people of Aflao.”
“We’re not supposed to cross the border but on a human face, we allow residents (not travellers) like schoolchildren and fisher folks (dragging their nets) to cross.
As for foreigners going and coming, no way but these are the people (foreigners) our people feel they’re doing business with. You go to Aflao station, some drivers charge these illegal travellers about GH¢ 250.00 instead of the normal GH¢ 40.00 bus fare, as a “package” while their counterpart hiring car drivers, charge GH¢ 1,500.00 for the set.
It is these package drivers who have a problem with our personnel trying to do their work because they charge their passengers higher with the promise to take them to Accra without any hitches. The officers are placed there to intercept those foreigners who will manoeuvre and get into the country because of our porous borderline.”
ACI Duodu appealed to the residents to understand that “the exercise we’re doing is for them” because apart from the COVID-19, there were other security threats to protect the country from admitting, though the directive might be impacting the people’s livelihood negatively, they should eschew acts that could endanger Ghana’s peace and security.
The Ketu South Dialogue Platform made up of 15 carefully selected persons from security providers, local government officials and community leaders in Ketu South from two separate workshops in June and August have until December this year to work through dialogue and partnership with key stakeholders to guarantee peace in Ketu South, identified as an at-risk Municipality with poorly patrolled frontiers.