James Oppong-Boanuh, the Inspector-General of Police of the Ghana Police Service, has reportedly directed the deployment of armed police officers to escort and protect tomato traders and transporters who travel to Burkina Faso to import the commodity.
The IGP’s directive comes as a response to a petition by tomato importers and traders concerning security on the highways.
This move by the IGP is to ensure that the lives of traders and importers are safeguarded against attacks by armed robbers on the Ghana-Burkina Faso highway.
In recent times, the Tomatoes Traders and Importers Association said seven of its members have been robbed and shot in less than three weeks while returning from Burkina Faso with tomatoes.
Two of them, however, died following the attacks forcing traders and transporters to embark on a strike over security concerns.
But speaking in an interview with Citi News after a meeting with the leadership of the Tomato Traders and Importers Association in Kumasi, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP David Agyeman Adjem, who met the traders on behalf of the Inspector General of Police assured them of the support of the Ghana Police Service.
“The IGP sent me through the Regional Commander to give them a message… the IGP wants me to assure them that he has already had some men deployed on that highway and that we should also give them escorts as they go on the highway.”
He further revealed that the IGP as part of plans to ensuring the safety of the traders on the Ghana-Burkina highway “is liaison with the Military High Command to see if it is possible to have the military come with us to do the assignment.”
Welcoming the IGP’s support for the traders, Eric Osei Tuffour, the National Chairman of the Association said the association will meet to decide on when to call off the strike.
“I am very happy today because the rate at which the were robbing us was very unprecedented,” the National Chairman of the Association, said to Citi News.
He added that following a meeting with the police in the next two or three days, “the escort will take off, and then we’ll call off the strike action.”