Tomato Traders and Transporters in Ghana have commended the Ghana Police Service, through the Inspector General of Police, George Akuffo Dampare, for providing them with a security escort from Kumasi to Paga and back to avoid highway robbery on their journey to buy tomatoes in Burkina Faso.
In February 2021, the tomato traders and transporters embarked on a strike following highway robberies along the Kumasi-Bolgatanga-Burkina Faso route. They blocked the Bolgatanga-Navrongo highway in protest of the increasing highway robbery that saw many tomato traders and transporters killed while others had their money taken away by the armed robbers.
The impact of the strike saw a hike in the price of tomatoes in the country at the time. In a quick intervention, the IGP provided security escorts to the traders and the truck drivers.
Chairman of Tomato Traders and Transporters in Ghana, Eric Osei Tuffour, said they have not recorded highway robberies as they had in the past following the police escort.
“The armed robbery incidents on the highway that have led to some of our members losing their lives while others have had their money taken away have stopped. Also, accidents on the road involving our drivers have stopped because discipline has been instilled in the drivers who were overtaking and overspeeding on the highway.”
Mr. Osei, who spoke exclusively to A1 Radio’s Joshua Asaah at Pwalugu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, commended the Inspector General of Police and the police officers for the security protection of tomato traders and transporters.
Benjamin Owusu Ansah, a truck driver who has plied the Kumasi-Bolgatanga-Paga road for over 10 years, stated that many of the accidents that occurred two years ago on the stretch of road were mostly involving tomato trucks.
“Because the drivers were either overspeeding or overtaking. But now, there is discipline on the road because the police officers move with us from Kumasi to Paga and back”
Kumasi Tomato Queen Mother, Adjoa Safowaa, said they were plying the road at night and, as a result, their lives and valuables were at risk of armed robbery activities.
“Two years ago, four women traders were killed by robbers at gunpoint in the night, but when we petitioned the president and the IGP, issues of armed robbery are now a thing of the past. Aside from the escort, the police give us, they also advise us to move in batches so that the road will not be flooded with tomato trucks which could lead to road crashes.”
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Pwalugu|Ghana