A joint patrol team in the Jomoro Municipality has apprehended over twenty people who used unapproved borders to enter Ghana from La Cote D’Ivoire in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak globally.
The move follows President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s order to close Ghana’s borders to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The joint patrol team which comprises the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), is mandated to monitor the ten unapproved borders in the Elubo enclave.
However, Jomoro Municipality has twenty unapproved borders apart from the approved three borders at Elubo, New Town and Jaway Wharf.
Since the main border posts in the Municipality had been closed down following the President’s order, some unlawful people have been trying their way to enter the country by using these unapproved borders.
Acting upon a tip-off, the joint patrol team was able to arrest more than twenty people.
In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb’s Western Regional Correspondent Daniel Kaku, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) boss at Elubo, Chief Superintendent Ahmed Musah confirmed the arrest as authentic.
He said they arrested twenty people on Monday night a day after the President’s directive that nobody should enter the country.
He added that they also arrested two people on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
He explained that 15 of the twenty people were all Ivorians and other 5 were Ghanaians who were returning from La Cote D’Ivoire .
Chief Supt. Ahmed emphasized that all the 22 people were screened and returned those Ivorians to their country.
According to him, those Ghanaians were referred to Health Officials for the necessary actions to be taken.
“The unapproved routes at Elubo are many and these people use River Tano to enter the country but we were able to arrest them and returned those from La Cote D’Ivoire and handed over those Ghanaians to the Health Professionals”, he stated.
He, therefore, pledged to make sure nobody uses the unapproved routes to enter Ghana but called on government to provide them with security apparatus to enhance them in their task.
On the rumours that their are not using some of the recommended preventive items, Chief Supt. Ahmed debunked it.
He disclosed that 500 nose masks and 30 bottles of alcoholic-based hand sanitizers have been given to them for protection against contracting and spreading the killer virus.
“Those saying we are not using the preventive items are lying because as we are talking we have 500 nose masks, 30 bottles of alcoholic-based hand sanitizers and also we have Veronica buckets and tissue papers to protect ourselves and we will get more”, he said.
He, therefore, took the opportunity to commend his Regional boss for visiting them at Elubo border post to see whether the border post has been closed down or not.
He said his Regional boss also took the opportunity to look at how some of their offices were burnt by fire on Sunday.
Speaking to GhanaWeb, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Jomoro Municipality, Mr. Ernest Kofie hailed the Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Police Service at Elubo for arresting those unlawful people who wanted to pass through the unapproved routes to Ghana.
The MCE said though it is sole responsibility of the Ghana Immigration Service to check people who are entering the country and leaving the country but he is therefore appealing to some security services to support the GIS to fight the battle.
He added that the Ghana Immigration Service alone cannot patrol all the 20 unapproved borders in the Municipality and calling on his people and the media to assist the GIS.
Mr. Kofie revealed that the three approved border posts namely Elubo, Jaway Wharf and New Town in the Municipality have been closed down.
He, therefore seized the opportunity to warn against those planning to use the unofficial routes to stop.
“People are suggesting that when we arrest people using these unapproved borders we should quarantine them but we all know we don’t facilities like hotels to do that so what we had planned to do that is that when we arrest any foreigner, we will quickly return the person to his or her country but as for Ghanaians we will screen them and give them to the Health Professionals also those Ghanaians who want to enter Ivory Coast we will prevent them from going”, he explained to GhanaWeb’s Western Regional Correspondent.
The MCE said government would deal with any security personnel who would allow anybody to enter Ghana.
He said they would beef up security personnel at the various unapproved borders in the Municipality.
“As we are going forward, we will change our strategy to deal with the situation, we are ready to welcome any report from the media to beef up our strategy”, he stressed.
He added that, “In fact since the President’s directive I have been sleeping well, everyday I have to move to our borders to monitor the situation because we the people of Jomoro are not safe because we have so many unapproved borders apart from the official three borders and I will also call on those who have managed to enter Ghana should report himself or herself for quarantine so that our flight against the
Coronavirus would be easy”.
Mr. Ernest Kofie who has been visiting Communities in the Municipality to educate them about the Coronavirus and how to protect themselves, took the opportunity to commend President Akufo-Addo for taking a bold decision to close all borders in the country.
According to him, the closure of the borders has helped the country from contracting and spreading more of the Coronavirus .
He called on Ghanaians to rally behind President Akufo-Addo to put hard preventive measures in place to combat the killer Coronavirus .