Securing Our Borders!

The Ghanaian Times published yesterday, a security threat looming along the Ghana-Togo border at Aflao.

According to the report, Togolese border security officials have clandestinely opened unapproved routes along the border, and extorting monies from people who use them, in and out of the two countries.

This nefarious activity is said to be going on with the tacit connivance of residents along the border.

What is worse is that the Ghanaian Immigration officers cannot check this illegal activity because, their Togolese counterparts are armed and can therefore, intimidate everybody, while the Ghanaians are not.

The Ghanaian officials therefore look on haplessly and hopelessly, as people cross unchecked, and those officials who attempt to protest are beaten up by the Togolese.

These alarming revelations come to confirm the story put out by the Ghana Immigration Service that the majority of the country’s border crossings are porous and insecure.

We seem to be living under the dangerous and erroneous impression that our borders are safe, yet the situation on the ground is different.

The other dangerous aspect is that, apart from the huge revenue being lost daily, smuggling of all manner of goods, as well as humans, could easily take place at those porous crossings.

Our worry is that in the long term, the illegal activities are likely to affect the government’s contingency plans to contain the deadly Ebola disease, and other diseases, as well.

It is hard to believe that while we are strenuously preparing to control the Ebola disease, and also lamenting over the loss of revenue at our borders, not much effort is being made to secure them.

We wish to appeal to the government as a first step, to arm our Immigration Officers, to enable them to police the borders effectively and diligently.

All over the world, border security officials are armed, particularly in this era of terrorism and other sophisticated cross-border crimes and espionage.

All Ghanaians would, in essence, be happy, if our borders are secured.

It is a task that must be done!

 

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