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Bawku conflict partly blamed for long queues at SIM registration centres

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The protracted conflict in Bawku is partly blamed for queues at SIM card registration centres in the Upper East Region.

The one-time business hub of the Upper East Region has not known peace due to a long-standing conflict between the Kusasis and Mamprusis over the rightful owners of the Bawku throne.

As a result, telecommunication network officers had to leave the town for safety anytime the conflict sparked.

Ayamdaago Ayuba, a native of Bawku said he could not re-register his SIM in Bawku but had to travel to Bolgatanga, the regional capital to get his SIM registered because of the conflict.

“There was an office in Bawku for the registration but because of the tension there, you can’t go there to register. So, people in Bawku and surrounding districts are moving to Bolga to register.”

While pleading for an extension of the registration exercise, Mr. Ayaamdago says the leading telecommunication giant in the country, MTN may lose its customers if the 31st July 2022 deadline is something to go by.

A visit to the MTN regional office in Upper East Region saw long queues stretching from the O.A bus terminal to the entrance of the office.

Another frustrated customer, Bugri Dawuni Desmond who travelled from Bawku to get his SIM card registered in Bolgatanga, says people are trooping to the regional capital for the exercise and that contributed to the long queues. He appealed for an extension of the exercise to avoid people losing their SIM cards.

Upper East Regional Manager of MTN, Richard Asamane when contacted, admitted that the conflict situation in Bawku has affected its smooth operation.

“We are abreast with the situation in Bawku currently as we pray and hope for lasting peace to return, we wouldn’t fold our arms just watching. The whole is that it is the municipality that is becoming a bit of a difficulty to reach.”

Regardless, he entreated customers to locate the about 14 vendors in the municipality or travel to neighbouring districts like Binduri, Zebilla, Pusiga, and Garu to get their SIM cards registered.

Mr. Asamane added that his outfit has extended its point of registration at some vantage points to make sure that its customers are registered.

He encouraged customers to turn out at MTN vendor points for the exercise saying that “our offices will be open on Saturday and Sunday and our sales team will be entering communities and churches to give an opportunity for everybody to be captured.”

When A1 NEWS visited the Vodafone Ghana office, similar queues were seen just as recorded at the MTN regional office.

Some of the frustrated customers said the many reasons hampering their inability to register their SIM cards are largely the delays in registering for the Ghana card.

The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful had warned that the deadline for the re-registration exercise will not be extended.

This means that customers of telecommunication networks who may not be able to re-register their SIM cards after the deadline will not be able to make calls, text, access internet service, or mobile money transactions.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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