Togolese border security officials hinder Ghanaian travellers from crossing into Lome

Some residents in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region, are raising red flags over what they described as harassment from Togolese border security personnel.

The residents say the security personnel have in recent times deploy measures that made it difficult to freely cross into Lome, in the neighboring Togo.

The residents poured out their frustrations in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, at Aflao.

“Togolese border security officers are making life difficult for the people living in the border community and more especially the businessmen and women, who use that entry point for business daily,” the residents complained.

Ms Cynthia Henyo, a resident and trader, who plies the route every day, said: “These people are not treating us well at all – we always cross the border each day without any problems, but nowadays they are not cooperating at all.

“I mean the Togo People- sometimes you are asked to pay something small and allowed to cross, but like few days now, you cannot cross at all.

Ms Henyo lamented: “This situation is taking a toll on those of us who rely on trading at “Asigame” (Lome- Big Market) to make ends meet – it is not just those of us living in Aflao and surrounding communities, other people from Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi are all stranded here unable to cross.”.

She appealed to the authorities to intervene in finding a solution to the development.

“As you can see for yourself, everyone seems to be stranded. Nobody is going nowhere especially we Ghanaians – Togolese and other nationals are allowed to cross except Ghanaians and we cannot just understand – our big men must quickly do something about this,” Ms Henyo said.

Mr Joshua Norsah, a security analyst the GNA spoke to, decried the development, and described it as worrying.

“What is happening at the border now has nothing to do with the Ghana Immigration Service, but with the Togolese police at the border, who are preventing the free passage of people, especially our Ghanaian brothers and sisters,” he said.

Mr Norsah added that “the deprivation and repressions at that side of the border, sometimes makes you wonder, what they are looking for – because they do it more than necessary.”

He observed that the Togolese security at the Aflao border no longer recognized Ghanaians and their identify cards.

He questioned the importance of the ECOWAS treaty that bounds neighbouring countries together and wondered what happened to the treaty on the Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services across our common borders and within ECOWAS member states all these years.

“How can you pay 2000 CFA, which is GH¢40 before you are allowed to cross the border – When you are returning, you pay the same, that is if you have the Ghana Card at all,” he wondered.

The GNA took a stroll around the border and saw several people, mostly Ghanaian traders and businesspeople loitering about, unable to cross over into Lome to do their business, some from as far as Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi, all bemoaning the development as they poured out their frustrations.

Meanwhile, Mr Maxwell Kofi Lugudor, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South and chairman of the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), told the GNA that his attention had been drawn to the development and preliminary findings confirmed somehow the concerns raised by the residents.

He said he was informed that the situation was not so until a couple of days ago and was attributed to an ongoing voter registration exercise in the neighbouring country, which is expected to end on Sunday, May 7.

Mr Lugudor appealed to the residents to remain calm as MUSEC was working to ensure that the issue was resolved amicably in the interest of the peace and security of both countries.

Source: GNA

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