The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has promoted four officers for bravery and selflessness during a rescue mission to save three other colleagues who were attacked by unknown assailants in Bawku on 3rd April this year.
The three officers whose car came under fire from unknown gunmen on their way to buy food were thirty-year-old Assistant Inspector Eric Ayidiya, stationed at the Polimakom border post, and Forty-two-year-old Inspector Lawrence Afari, stationed at Kulungugu post, both of whom got injured and received treatment at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital.
A third officer, forty-two-year-old Inspector Philip Motey, died from injuries sustained during the attack. He was laid to rest last Saturday.
The officers who rescued their colleagues: Chief Superintendent (C/Supt.) Michael Brewu Ampofoh was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Immigration.
Assistant Inspector Harris Quartey was promoted to the rank of Inspector; Immigration Control Officer (ICO) Wisdom Elorm Addo was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector, whilst Assistant Immigration Control Officer Grade II Emmanuel Forson was promoted to the rank of Assistant Immigration Control Officer Grade I.
All four officers also received citations, certificates and plaques, recognising their work.
The Controller-General of Immigration, Kwame Asuah Takyi, in an address, said on the evening of April 3, 2023 at about 19:51 hours, Chief Superintendent Michal Brewu Ampofoh, received a distress call from one Assistant Inspector Eric Afari who informed the Bawku Command of the attack by the unknown gunmen who fired several shots at their vehicle, killing Inspector Phillip Motey and injuring two others.
Mr Takyi commended Chief Superintendent Ampofo and the three others for their swift response despite the perilous situation.
“Quickly, Chief Supt. Ampofoh and team of other three officers rushed to the scene while keeping touch with Assistant Inspector Laurence Afari through his phone, receiving directions and reassuring them that help was coming until the team got there… while it shocked me as well as many others how the immigration response team got there faster in spite of the danger on their way,” he said.
He encouraged other officers to follow the example of the four by not turning their backs on fellow colleagues when their assistance was needed especially, in volatile areas of duty such as Bawku.
“All security personnel should hold and teach that we must not turn our backs on our colleagues in any way or form when our help is most needed. I say this because we all know about the situation in the Bawku area and the danger that the conflict poses to security officials and residents as a whole,” he said.
On her part, Mrs. Adelaide Anno-Kumi, the Chief Director at the Ministry of Interior, in an address, on behalf of the Minister, Ambrose Dery, commended the immigration service for recognising the heroic move by the four officers as stipulated in regulation 171D (2016) L.I. 2245 of the Ghana Immigration Service.
Madam Anno-Kumi hinted that Government via the Ministry of Interior recognised threats faced by immigration service officers who worked around the clock to ensure that the country’s borders were safe and protected against all forms of cross border crimes.
She added that government would continue to retool the service to execute its mandate as expected.
The newly promoted Michael Brewu Ampofoh at a media interview said though he was pleased with the recognition for his hard work, he saw this award and promotion as an extra duty which required more efforts and commitment.
“… day in day out when we are promoted from one rank to the other it is an additional responsibility which is a paradigm shift in your behaviour, your operations, your attitudes towards work, how you respond to such calls.” He said.