Business halted at Paga border

Vehicular and human movement across the country’s border at Paga, to neighbouring Burkina Faso and other Sahelian countries north of the country virtually came to a halt following an order for the closure of the border ahead of Sunday’s poll.

A visit by the Daily Graphic to the Paga Border Post last Saturday, noticed several articulated trucks carrying goods queuing along the two-lane, dual carriage road. On both sides of the border, an equally greater number of articulated trucks were locked up at the main parking area.

Some passengers on board passenger vehicles were also seen loitering around apparently stranded as a result of the closure of the border.

The Government last week announced the closure of the Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso borders from 6a.m on Friday, December 26, till Monday, December 29, 2008.

A statement issued by the National Security Coordinator, Dr Sam Amoo, said the closure of the borders was in the interest of the nation.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the second in command of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Paga Station, Mr Patrice Napoleon A. Afotey-Annang, said since they received the order, his outfit, with support from personnel from the Immigration Service, had been able to mount an effective patrol of the area to ensure that the order was not flouted.

Some military persons in a pickup vehicle bearing a military number plate were also spotted monitoring activities around the border.

Mr Afotey-Annang, a Principal Collector of CEPS, said in addition to the day patrols, senior officers also joined in the patrols at night, to ensure that unscrupulous persons did not sneak in.

He, however, observed that the uncountable footpaths along the border were posing a big challenge, but that notwithstanding, personnel of both outfits were committed to ensure that no one flouted the order.

Mr Afotey-Annang said the challenges notwithstanding, it would be difficult for any stranger to enter Ghana and attempt to vote because anyone who tried would be easily identified and arrested.

“It is very difficult for somebody to come from outside Ghana and attempt to vote because anyone who tries will meet stiff opposition from the political parties,” he said.

He gave the assurance that all passengers and goods would be provided, the needed security until the borders were opened today, to enable them to continue with their journey.

Some drivers of transit vehicles expressed their displeasure at the closure but were hopeful that the border would be opened today as promised to enable them to continue with their journey.

Source: Daily Graphic

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