Government has been urged to legalise routes along Ghana’s borders, described as “unapproved”, and post security personnel there to protect the country from external attacks and spillage of extremism.
Naba Azaare Anyenaba, the Chief of Feo, a border community in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region, said if such routes were approved and security personnel stationed with the necessary logistics, it would ensure vigilance and effective monitoring to prevent illegal entry to the country.
The political instability and activities of terrorists and extremists in the Sahel Region, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, posed risks to Ghana, hence government must accept those “unapproved routes” and take steps to legalise them to ensure vigilance, he said.
“As a country, we must accept the reality and approve of where people are passing. But we say it is unapproved yet people pass through these routes every day and some people are collecting monies into their pockets,” he said.
Naba Anyenaba said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a training programme on preventing violence extremism for border communities, organised by the National Peace Council (NPC), with funding support from the Danish International Development Agency.
Apart from the Namoo border, which is under the supervision of the Paga border, all other routes linking Ghana to Burkina Faso in the Bongo District are deemed “unapproved.”
Naba Anyenaba said due to the huge market in Burkina Faso (Yelwongo Market) economic activities involving movement of goods and services between the two countries went beyond the approved routes.“We the people of Feo have appealed for the routes to be approved because it is liberal, Namoo and Feo can have different borders so that we can all help to curb the movement of people,” he added.
That would also help to improve the revenue mobilisation drive of the District Assembly for sustainable development, he said.“I think we should wake up and look at our geographical situation very well and straighten things to bring in income, we should not just allow people to come and extort money from our communities.”
Mr Ali Anankpieng, the Upper East Regional Executive Secretary, NPC, said the training, which brought together traditional and religious leaders, women and youth groups and persons with disability, among others, sought to build the resilience of border communities to assist in combating terrorism and extremism.It was also to equip the participants with skills to be able to identify early signals of extremists’ activities and collaborate with the security agencies to address them.
He admonished Ghanaians to take their personal security seriously and report any suspicious characters within their communities to the relevant authorities.