Sprawling communities on Ghana-Togo border pose security threat

Some sprawling communities made up of West African nationals, who live on the frontier between Ghana-Togo border continue to pose security threat to the Aflao Sector Security Agencies.

The communities – Kologa, Gaklikope, Dzatakope and Ahiatafukope, dominated by Malians, Togolese and Nigerien, who ply their trade across the frontier cover a land area of about five kilometres square, stretching from Pillar five to 13, and about 12 kilometres from the Aflao township.

Other communities that complete the Duta Electoral Area of the Ketu South Municipality include; Pozokofe, Agbawoeme, Cemaokofe and Ziome.

Chief Superintendent, Mr Frederick Baah Duodu, the Sector Commander of Ghana Immigration Service disclosed this in his speech during the visit of the Board Council to the Aflao sector.

He complained that activities of the inhabitants were negatively affecting state security, and needed swift attention.

Mr Duodu observed that the CFA was the dominant medium of exchange in the communities with almost all inscriptions or insignia on billboards boldly written in French.

Togbi Kporvi Wodome Sangli-Innocent II, Dufia of Fiokofe, a popular community in the sprawling enclave said land in the area was largely owned by families and clans and that chiefs came in only to settle land disputes.

He said common challenges in the area included; reckless sale of land to foreigners.

“Lack of supervision has resulted in clumsy development plans and haphazard siting of houses,’’Togbi Sangli-Innocent added.

He said the francophone influence was pronounced as even land surveys, demarcations and layouts were done by Togolese officials including; land titles and supporting documents.

The chief said the area lacked public amenities except for an old school block built by Diamond Cement with mushrooming private schools.

Mr Samuel Sowah Seshie, Senior Elder under the Aflao Traditional area said the development posed security and traditional governance difficulties.

He said the ‘unapproved’ settlements had served as haven for thousands of illegal migrants of foreign extraction.

Mr Seshie said the Republic of Togo had properly secured their side of the border and appealed to the government to rebuild the broken border fence-walls and enforce laws that prohibited trade in foreign currency in the enclave.

Ghana News Agency investigation has shown that a Malian national, only known as ‘Alhaji Fan Boy,’ who has title to majority of the lands in the enclave had ceded a portion for the construction of a ‘Fan Boy market’ with the traditional authority and the Assembly earmarking a parcel to building a Police Station.

Buildings including; a market complex is under construction without permits and were sited along the buffer zone, creating difficulties in implementing regulatory policies.

The Assembly revenue mobilisation taskforce has erected a barrier to collect toll from drivers carting foodstuffs into Kologa.

There is lack of political will to tackle the problem as Togolese soldiers dictate the pace of security and development resulting into security challenges such as prostitution, armed robbery and other criminal activities.

Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Ketu South, admitted the challenges had become a national security issue and a looming time bomb.

He confirmed the challenges as enumerated by the traditional authority but refuted the lack of collaboration adding that the Assembly had earmarked a virgin road for construction to open up the enclave.

He said there was an arrangement with the Diamond Cement to create the old Aflao Police Station junction – Diamond Cement Akpoklpoe road to make it motorable, while electricity was extended to unserved parts of the area.

Mr Agbenorwu said the Assembly was constructing a Community-based Health Planning System (CHPS) compound, which is at roofing level and due to the salinity of the underground water, it was difficult to sink borehole for the people.

He however said fresh underground water was found at Gbagblakorfe, which was being mechanised by the Assembly with attempts to create proper layout.

The MCE said the Assembly was making efforts to mark the expected frontier road network from Aflao to Segbe near Kpoglu on the Ho –Aflao road awaiting actual construction work to commence.

This work will take cognizance of German demarcation line (PG) between Ghana and Togo.

Mr Agbenorwu said he inherited the situation, but was working frantically to bring the issue under control.

He said the Assembly’s inspectorate and development division were working hard to address the situation.

Source: GNA

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