President Akufo-Addo says the increased presence of members of the Ghana Armed Forces in the Upper East Region is to help secure the country’s borders.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the operations being undertaken by the Armed Forces are part of efforts Government is making “to make sure that terrorist infiltrators do not come into our country to cause problems for us.”
The President told a durbar of Chiefs at Navrongo that the soldiers “are putting their lives on the line to enable us feel secure and peaceful here”, and as such need the support of the populace in terms of intelligence and information gathering.
President Akufo-Addo recounted the vigilance of Messrs. Gregory Bangbeme and George Bonfodong, members of the Roman Catholic Church in Hamile, in the Upper West Region, who, earlier this year, together with the Church leaders, alerted the Police about the presence in the Church of an armed person, who turned out to be a national of our neighbouring country of Burkina Faso.
“We need all of us to pull together, and understand that the very survival of our nation is what is at stake in this effort that the soldiers are doing.
“They are not doing it for themselves, they are doing it for all of us, and I am appealing to you to stand behind them and give them your maximum support so that they can carry out their duties efficiently and successfully for us,” he said.
Having visited the troops under the Command of Major General Moses Aryee, at Binaba on Tuesday, 13th August, the President told the gathering that “they are in very high morale, very good spirits, and they are very committed to the task that has been assigned to them.”
Touching on the “1-District-1-Warehouse” project, President Akufo-Addo indicated that there are nine that are scheduled for construction in the Upper East Region.
“Five are being undertaken under the Special Development Initiatives, which are in Bawku, Pusiga, Paga – they are in the course of construction. The one in Tempane is yet to begin, but it will begin very soon. Sandema is almost virtually complete.
“There are four others that are being done under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, and that too are all under construction” he said.
With Ghanaian farmers having embraced the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, the President appealed to the Chiefs and people to help Government combat the incidents of smuggling of subsidized fertilizer to neighbouring countries.
“It is all of us our money which is in this programme, not just for farmers, people sitting in their offices in Accra are contributing, those sitting in their offices in Navrongo are contributing, it’s not just the farmers.
“And, then, we have a handful of greedy people, a handful of greedy criminals, and they will use our money to smuggle our things to Burkina Faso,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued “I am appealing to all of you, the traditional rulers and the population; I’ve seen the ones that have been seized by this very active woman, at the residency, I’ve seen the lorries that are there, I’ve seen them in the Police Station here in Navrongo. It is not right, and all of us should band together to stop the smuggling of fertilizers to Burkina Faso.”
He urged residents to “to give the security agencies your maximum support to bring this activity down”, adding that “if there are even members of the security agencies who are complicit in this matter, expose them.
“Let us know who they are, and they would be dealt with. I promise you that.”