House of Chiefs calls for action on Peace Council call against inland borders

Politics Chiefs Borders
Politics Chiefs Borders

The Volta Regional House of Chiefs has called on the Government to act upon calls by the Peace Council to remove inland borders in the Volta Region.

The House, which had been resisting the present border enforcement regime in the Region, had taken strong notice of the recent call by the Peace Council, and the matter became the crux of its last meeting for the year.

Togbe Tepre Hodo, President of the House, riding on the call by the Council, said the inland borders, planted at Asikuma and Sogakope, interrupted free movement within a sovereign nation with strong national borders.

“It is so frustrating. People have to get down for their vehicles to be checked. They are getting people to disembark from their vehicles and walk long distances. If you have immigration officers at the borders, what are they doing inland?

“We want to press home the message that you cannot dehumanise people on the basis of their tribe.”

Mr Harry Attipoe, Registrar of the House, drew attention to the recent secessionist uprising in the Region as the official motive behind the inland checkpoints.

Osie Adza Terkpor, Paramount Chief of Avatime, insisted, “the reason for the barriers is not clear,” and detailed alleged instances of tribal segregation.

“People are forced to speak Twi to be identify as Ghanaians. These things have been spelt out by the Peace Council, and we should announce to the whole world that we detest such things.”

Other chiefs, including Togbi Tenge Dzokoto Gligui VII of Amugo-Wego supported calls for a major statement on the matter.

Togbe Gligui told the GNA after the meeting that the borders were, “inhumane to the people of the Region and the nation.

Togbe Tepre Hodo said to the GNA that the House had resolved on a plan of action to get the attention of the authorities, noting how the issue had been, “raised at several forums but no response.”

He said such occurrences only heightened tensions within the country and should be corrected.

“We try to control these things so that people will know that we belong to one another. My appeal is that it is high time something is done otherwise the peace and tranquility that we enjoy will be lost,” he said.

“The Peace Council is on point. It detailed the issues. It has been two weeks or more and nothing has been done. A stitch in time saves nine,” the President of the House stated.

Mr Felix Klu-Adjei, Volta Regional Public Affairs Officer of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the subject said Immigration goes beyond the borders and appealed to the Chiefs and other stakeholders to bear with the system.

He said the inland borders were marshalled for strategic security measures beyond the scope of the ordinary person to filter through those who have been able to access other routes into the country, taking advantage of the porosity of the borders.

He stated that inland borders were not peculiar to the Volta region but a feature across the nation including parts of the Northern, Bono and Eastern regions adding the discomfort and the inconvenience at the borders could be mitigated for the travelling public.

Mr Klu-Adjei said some snap checkpoints were erected based on intelligence, which came with strategic technicalities, for example profiling of illegal entrants with different motives.

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