Ghanaians at the border town of Paga in the Upper East region, want government to intensify security at that area, following a police wireless message warning of possible attacks by Burkinabe bandits.
The wireless message circulated two days ago indicated that the bandits are suspected of having military-grade weapons and may have already infiltrated some yet to be identified areas and planning an attack.
Upper East Regional Minister Stephen Yakubu said the security agencies are on high alert and encouraged citizens to report any suspicious strangers in their communities.
But the residents of Paga where the Ghana – Burkina Faso border is located say they are scared for their lives.
They believe that their security can only be guaranteed if government deploys more soldiers and police personnel to the area.
Citing a recent incident where a mobile money vendor was robbed, and his customer shot and killed in the process, the Paga residents said they feel unsafe because the armed robbers were never apprehended.
“Some time ago, armed robbers came and attacked at the border area. This is a security zone, but the armed robbers did whatever they wanted and got away. Last week, a mobile money vendor was robbed, and his customer was shot in the head. So, if these robbers were not apprehended, how can we stop these bandits if they are already here?” a resident of Paga told Joy News.
The Paga residents also recounted how they had seen videos of killings in neighbouring Burkina Faso during the recent disturbances there – something that has heightened their fears.
Another resident of Paga said, “I had heard of what happened in Burkina Faso last week where 160 people were killed in the Southern part of that country, so I was apprehensive when I heard about the wireless message from the police”.
Responding to the Upper East Regional Minister’s recent call on citizens to report any suspicious strangers, some of the residents of Paga said they would readily assist the security agencies but admitted that it was difficult to identify strangers especially near the border.
Lucas Awanpaga said; “the border is filled with many people so you cannot tell who is who. Some of the Burkinabes speak our language [Kasem] so if they are here, you may not know they are strangers”.
The Paga residents want government to deploy more security personal to area to secure lives and property.
“The government should send more security here especially the soldiers – they can do this job”, Awanpaga said.
“I don’t understand why the government has not sent security here because the wireless message said the bandits are already here with us. So, if the security is not here, how will they be able to stop any attack?” Cyprian Mensah, also a resident of Paga, lamented.
Meanwhile, at the Ghana – Burkina Faso border post, Joy News observed it was business as usual. Except for the usual security personal on duty, there was no visible signs of security reinforcements.