Unnamed File

Collaboration among actors in the Volta region involving Immigration Officers, chiefs and volunteer youth groups along Ghana’s eastern frontier with Togo is heightening vigilance in preventing suspicious elements who have and attempted to cross into the country despite the closure of the borders.

Mr Peter Nantuo, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, in-charge of the Region, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview said the involvement of traditional leaders and the youth groups was a strategy adopted by the Regional Command to make up for the logistical challenges of the Service to facilitate containment of Coronavirus.

The Chiefs and youth groups from Atikpui, Nyive, Shia and Honuta are cooperating with Immigration officers to accomplish the task of policing the unapproved beats of the frontier.

He said after the youth granted them the opportunity to speak to them on the debilitating nature of the COVID-19, they abandoned their lucrative business of operating ‘okada’ across the frontier to assist Immigration officials to protect their side of the border.

It emerged from the encounter that the okada riders were secretly conveying foreign nationals across the unapproved beats into the country, which could jeopardize the efforts at containing the virus.

Mr Nantuo said considering the porosity and vastness of the frontier, “I fervently appeal to the authorities to procure mostly motorbikes to the Service in this crucial time to enable personnel navigate the difficult terrain of unapproved beats and nib in the bud suspicious elements that would attempt to slip through.

He said the Command’s COVID-19 taskforce went on a mission to assess the exigencies from Kpedze, Dzolokpuita, Leklebi-Dafor, Leklebi-Kame, Wli and Golokwati, all border towns, to identify places of holding or detention centres for COVID-19 cases that may surface.

The Regional Commander said the Command was collaborating with the Regional Health Directorate to man their inland barriers or check points specifically, the Asikuma and Sogakope Immigration check points, which had intercepted many foreigners from neighbouring countries that found themselves illegally in the territory.

Mr Nantuo urged Immigration Officers to secure their personal safety foremost and deploy a robust shift system, while keeping an eye on their mandate.

He said unsubstantiated allegations of extortion being levelled against officers without proof was demoralising, considering the dire circumstances under which they worked for God and country.

Mr Nantuo said there was no iota of truth in those allegations otherwise informants must prove them.
Meanwhile, 15 specimen extracted from suspected COVID-19 cases from Volta and Oti have tested negative according to a source from the Ho Teaching Hospital.

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