By Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Minister of Interior has disclosed that his Ministry has knowledge of only four (4) sanctioned Police barriers on the Aflao-Accra Highway.
According to Mr. Ambrose Derry, these known Police barriers are mounted at Sogakope, Hikpo, Anlo-Afiadenygba Junction and Tokor under the supervision of respective District Commands.
In responding to a Parliamentary question post by MP Ketu South, Abla Dzifa Gomshie as to what has necessitated fourteen (14) Police and Immigration posts and barriers on the Accra-Aflao road, the sector Minister submitted that “to the best of my knowledge the Accra to Aflao International road has four (4) Police barriers”.
These are located at; Sogakope Barrier under the Sogakope Divisional Police
Command, Hikpo Barrier under Akatsi District Police Command, Anlo to Afiadenyigba Barrier under the Keta Divisional Police Command and Tokor Barrier under Ketu Divisional Public Command.
But the Minister was quick to add that, “there is also an approved Police barrier at Tsopoli near Prampram
operated by the Tema Regional Headquarters and the Prampram Divisional Police Command”.
Linking the situation to Covid-19, the Minister said, as a strategy to ensure that all persons who manage to slip through unapproved border crossing points are intercepted, the Ghana Immigration Service supported by the Ghana Police Service and the Border Security Agencies mounted in-land and snap checkpoints at strategic locations not only on the Accra-Aflao road, but other roads leading to the land borders in the country.
To him, “the in-land and snap checkpoints also serve as a second-layer in view of the threat of terrorism and other transnational organized crimes within the sub-region”.
“As you may be aware, the country’s international borders were closed on 21 March 2020 as part of Governments’ measures to prevent the spread and importation of Covid-19 into Ghana”.
In a related development on the issue of Aflao Border closure, the Interior Minister has charged affected persons within the Border enclave to take advantage of the Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) till the border is fully opened for usual business.
He acknowledged that Government is aware of the impact that the closure of the land borders is having on the border Communities especially their business, “It is in this regard that Government introduced the Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) also known as Obaatanpa Programme to alleviate the impact on businesses and other sectors of the economy”.
He urged Ghanaians in general and those along the borders including Aflao to take advantage of the intervention to advance the fortunes of their business till the borders are opened.
“It must however, be noted that the closure does not affect only border residents and Aflao in particular, but Ghanaian businesses in general”.