U/W REGSEC tasks Wa Municipal Assembly to form watchdog c’ttee

The Upper West Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has tasked assembly members in the Wa Municipality to lead the formation of watchdog committees to assist the police in stepping up community patrols.

The decision is to help curb the incidence of mysterious murders and disappearance of some security guards of private facilities in the Wa Municipality,

The watch dog committees which would be formed under the supervision of the regional police command would have its members profiled, and trained by the police and issued appropriate licences to avoid abuse of mandate.

This was contained in a statement released by the REGSEC to the media on Thursday and signed by the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, after an emergency meeting.

Recent happenings in the municipality and the region at large where about seven people, including four security guards had been murdered or disappeared under very bizzare circumstances had raised concerns among residents, and called for deliberations by different stakeholders including REGSEC on how to deal with the issue.

No arrest has been made in all five incidents involving four security guards in the Wa Municipality, however, alleged killers of the victims at Kuntaali and Wechiau in the NadowliKaleo and WaWest Districts respectively had been arrested and were facing court trial.

The statement admitted that security was a shared responsibility, hence there was the need for collaboration among the various security agencies as well as residents to restore calm in the municipality.

The formation of the watchdog was one of nine other recommendations by the REGSEC to contain the situation.

The Committee asked landlords to inspect resident permits of tenants who were not of Ghanaian origin, adding that it was against the law to allow as many as five people in a single room, as was alleged among some foreign residents in the municipality.

“The Ghana Immigration Service and the Wa Municipal Assembly must take inventory of all hotels and guest houses within the municipality and the police must intensify patrols and visibility in the municipality,” the statement said.

Operators of tricycles were also directed to halt operations at 9:00 p.m. and resume at 5:00 a.m. whereas the police was tasked to impound unregistered motorcycles they chanced on and arrest the riders as well.

The statement further directed institutions and departments to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at their workplaces, and appealed to residents to be more observant and vigilant in order to help identify suspicious movements and characters and provide such information to the police.

Prior to the REGSEC meeting on Wednesday evening, the police command met with owners of institutions that engaged the services of private security guards who appeared to be the target of the unfortunate incidents, and appealed to them to collaborate with the police in unraveling the mystery behind the incidents.

He said investigations were underway and encouraged the public to volunteer information, while assuring them that their identities would be protected from coming to the public domain.

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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