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Regional Report: Travelers on Asesewa Akateng road under siege from armed robbers

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Mon, 5 Jul 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region:

Some travelers mainly traders who ply the Asesewa-Akateng road in the Eastern Region, say they are living in fear following heightened insecurity created in the area over rampant highway robberies.

The residents and traders of the two communities said that commercial vehicles who convey traders from various communities to the Asesewa and Akateng markets have on a number of occasions been stopped by robbers and occupants of such vehicles and robbed at gunpoint.

Trading activities are boosted in the two towns owing to thousands of trade volumes recorded in Akateng, a farming and fishing community and Asesewa largely based on agrarian products such as tubers, cereals, and other staples cultivated in commercial quantities in all the towns and villages in the Upper Manya Krobo District.

Reports indicate that the stretch of road connecting the various communities on the stretch has often been invaded by the hoodlums especially on market days which attracts thousands of traders weekly.

However, this is being threatened by the activities of the armed robbers as traders and many others who visited the Akateng community especially, are gradually withdrawing as a result of insecurity, fearing this could jeopardize the lives of thousands of traders and the working population.

Mensah Siabi is the local GPRTU chairman in Akateng and a three times victim of robbery activities on the road.

Narrating his experience to GhanaWeb, Mr. Siabi said the activities of the criminals very close to the community was worrying.

He recounted how he was once accosted by the robbers who made away with his money and valuables and those of his passengers.

“The activities of the armed robbers is a big bother to us. Previously, they operated further away but they now operate very close to the Akateng community.

“For the past three months, they attack travelers on the road. In my case, I was driving when they attacked us…they managed to get me [this time] because there was a vehicle in front of my vehicle that had been stopped by the robbers so I quickly attempted to reverse but another group [of the robbers] emerged from behind,” said the GPRTU.

Having threatened him with a knife, he said monies amounting to Ghc30,000, Ghc10,000, Ghc5,000, Ghc2,000, Ghc3,000, etc. were taken from them.

He appealed to government to safeguard the lives and properties of the travelers by mounting a permanent police post on the road.

“We need government assistance. If they can place a permanent police barrier on that stretch, it will be of great help to us.”

A trader, Owusu Stella Maku also recounted to GhanaWeb how the robbers shot indiscriminately at their vehicle, injuring some passengers on board.

According to her, they made away with Ghc15,000 in her mobile money account after repeatedly slashing her with a blade.

“Armed robbers are really worrying us on the Asesewa-Akateng road. They block the road about four or five times a week.

“I was robbed of fifteen thousand cedis (GHC15000) on my way home. They demanded my money and I told them I had my money on my phone and they demanded the code so I gave them a wrong code.

“They inflicted blade cuts all over my body demanding the right code and I finally did. They then transferred the money onto their phone.

“They shot at our vehicle and my brother who was also in the vehicle bowed so the bullet missed him but grazed the back of his neck and he was seriously injured so he was taken to the Korle-bu teaching hospital. Two gentlemen in the vehicle were also injured and are on admission at the Asesewa hospital so we need government’s assistance.”

The traders blame the police for poor response to their pleas as they only show up after the criminals had left.

A taxi driver, Tetteh Lanor who plies the Asesewa-Akateng road shared the experience of how the robbers after blocking the road, attacked, robbed and raped women aboard his car while his manhood was pulled in the process.

“…We were six in the vehicle including five female passengers. They lined us all up on the road. They demanded our monies. I attempted struggling with them until they gave a warning shot before I complied. They took all my money and turned on the passengers, stripped them naked and took all their monies. They stripped me naked too, held me by my manhood and dragged me to a distance and brought me back. As for the women, they raped them,” said.

Tetteh Simon, also a taxi driver said, “I had loaded from Asesewa and was heading towards Akateng when armed robbers attacked us on the way. They ordered me to stop but I drove away and they shot the glass of my vehicle.”

Confirming the plights of the Assemblyman for Tumesi/Akateng Electoral Area, Willaim Yaw Tugbedzo said despite the prevalence of the activities of the robbers in the area, several attempts to stop the criminals at the Assembly level have failed.



“The incidents of armed robberies here have prevailed for a very long time. We have deliberated on it severally at Assembly meetings without any solutions.

“This has really affected the community because the market is the community. There is no mobile network reception at the locations where they attack the traders and the police do not respond to distress calls on time.”

He, therefore, appealed for a permanent military and police presence on the road to curb the activities of the armed robbers.

Efforts to get responses from the District Chief Executive (DCE) For Upper Manya Krobo and the Head of the District Security Committee (DISEC), Felix Odjao Nartey and the Asesewa Police Commander, Superintendent John Yeboah were not successful.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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