Soldiers in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale have dispelled allegations of banning residents leaving in the Old Airport Area from accessing their homes by deploying a 24hr armed military vehicles and guards to barricade all thoroughfares.
Residents claimed soldiers have forcibly blocked all routes and seized their vehicles and motorbikes after accusing them of encroaching and defecating indiscriminately on the land bequeathed to them for the construction of a permanent Command headquarters for a sector firmly gripped by tribal, land and chieftaincy violence.
The suburb sprang up after the main airport was relocated and it is currently being occupied largely by top public servants and few wealthy individuals.
Many people have been using the land as main thoroughfare to homes and the military complained about dwellers misuse of the security zone.
There have not been a land dispute incident between the military and residents but the soldiers have place in aggressive measures to fend off encroachers including building sign posts with cold warnings not to trespass.
Residents who spoke to Ultimate News’s Eliasu Tanko off record alleged the area have been under military watch for over two weeks and they have been denied entry with vehicles to their residences.
According to them, the soldiers have not provided alternatives compelling them to leave vehicles and other means of transport away from their residences exposing it buglers and thieves.
Ultimate News witnessed a military van with a UN inscription stationed at one of the ‘unapproved’ routes but didn’t obtain reports of brutality.
However, the military has pushed back the allegations denying roundly of forcibly stopping residents from accessing their homes by blocking the routes.
Northern regional military spokesman, Captain Maxwell- Fadola Asola in an exclusive Ultimate News said the operation was to prevent the alarming rate of desecration of the land which was only meant for the old abandoned tarmac and not the four walls of the land.
“This is a barracks and a command headquarters as well as a Garrison headquarters and if you get here, you will realized that they a lot of unapproved routes all around so command has decided that the old tarmac should be blocked and that we should not allow motorbikes and vehicle to ply that route”
“But the decision is not to prevent people from going to their homes. Now, what has precipitated this is that, we have realized that people come around and free their bowels, defecate all around which is not allowed. The place was used as a thoroughfare but since the command has set off, command has decided that all these things come to an end; so it is no longer opened to the public”, Captain Fadola explained.
He denied also that culprits assets including motorbikes were seized by the soldiers but added the command was available for investigation and urged victims to come forth with complaints and reports.
He said the command will now issue statement officially to notify residents of the operation.
The operation according to spokesman Asola has no limiting line and military guards will always to there to handle adamant residents.