IGP orders police protection for tomato traders on Kumasi-Bolga-Burkina Faso road

61274616 Tomato importer & traders assocition laments on the recurrent armed robbery attacks on its members

Fri, 12 Feb 2021 Source: classfmonline.com

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, has promised to provide police escorts for members of the Ghana National Tomato Traders and Transporters Association to protect them against armed robbery attacks on the Kumasi-Bolgatanga-Burkina Faso highway.

This follows a petition presented to the IGP by the tomato importers and traders association of Ghana on the recurrent armed robbery attacks on its members.

Speaking to Class91.3FM’s Ashanti regional correspondent, Elisha Adarkwah, on the sidelines of a meeting held with the association in Kumasi on Thursday, 11 February 2021, the PRO of the Ashanti regional police command, DCOP David Agyeman Adjem, assured the association of the deployment of armed police personnel to protect its members.

DCOP Adjem said: “The IGP wants me to assure them that he’s already had some armed men deployed on the highway, and that we should also give them escorts as they go about their duties”.

“The IGP says that he’s liaising with the Military High Command to see if it is possible to have the military come with us to do the assignment.”

He further called on members of the association to find alternative ways of sending money to Burkina-Faso instead of carrying huge amounts of money on them during their travels.

“One of the things I’ll advise the traders to do is not to carry too much money on them. I think that basically, people attack them because they know they’re carrying huge sums of money.”

Despite the assurance by the IGP, the association indicated that its strike has not been called off.

Its national chairman, Mr Eric Osei Tuffour, stated that although they are excited at the measures put in place by the IGP to ensure their safety, they would have to plan with the police within three days and also inform members of the association before the strike can be called off.

The embarked on a strike from Sunday, 7 February 2021 over its grievances.

According to the group, seven of its members have been robbed and shot in less than three weeks while returning from their business trips.

The association revealed that a driver died on Friday, 5 February 2021, after he was shot together with his mate by armed robbers while on their way to Burkina Faso.

The association further noted that nothing had been done about the increased robbery attacks on its members, despite complaints to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, 5 February 2021, the National Vice-Chairman of the association, Mr Abraham Nana Poku, said: “We’re by this medium cautioning all tomato drivers in Ghana, who transport tomatoes with their vehicles that from Sunday, we do not want to see them on the roads, transporting tomatoes. Whoever disobeys this order and goes to transport tomatoes, we’re telling all Ghanaians that we’ll destroy their tomatoes”.

“Because we’ve informed the government and his IGP but they ignored us. So, we’re taking the law into our hands to do what’s in our best interest, that way, they’ll value us.”

The association added that the silence of the authorities was what necessitated its decision to strike.

“Last week, we decided to send letters to District and Regional Commanders and wait for the results. It’s been over a week, we haven’t heard or seen anything. With today’s incident, we’re standing firm, we have over 1,500 members and so we rotate. We have vehicles inside, we know when they’ll leave, when they do, from Sunday, we won’t allow any of the vehicles to cross the border again.”

Source: classfmonline.com