Member of Parliament (MP) for Jaman North has disclosed that he will lead the people of his constituency to hit the streets and protest the closure of the Ghana-Ivory Coast border.
As part of measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus last year, the Government of Ghana closed all land borders.
President Akufo-Addo who announced this in one of his addresses to the nation on Coronavirus in March 2020, indicated the government’s aim was to “limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.”
However, seventeen (17) months after the closure of the borders, some residents living along the country’s borders have called on the government to open the borders to allow for economic activities to thrive.
Sampa, the capital of the Jaman North District is one of the towns that have been badly affected by the closure of the borders although the airports have been opened.
Most residents in the district, according to the MP, are traders who import goods from neighbouring Ivory Coast for a living.
“The closure of the land borders in Jaman North has brought hardship to the people of Jaman North and South Constituencies,” Mr Ahenkwah told Dwaboase host Oheneba Boamah Bennie on Power 97.9FM Monday morning.
Since economic activities have gone down and resulted in hardship, Ahenkwah said it has become necessary for the people to demonstrate and show the government how bad the situation is.
“We’re planning to demonstrate by next week against the closure of land borders,” Ahenkwa noted and said his constituents are willing to protest to tell the government that the situation has brought severe hardship on them.
The freshman MP contended that the country’s ports were closed alongside the land borders but when measures were put in place by the government to open and man the country’s airports to manage covid-19 cases, the land borders could have been opened to traffic using the same measures to control the deadly virus too.
He suggested that the borders ought to be opened to human traffic and urged the government to make good use of the port health service posts as they can equally work to bring the pandemic under control.
Reacting to the issue on Dwaboase, MP for the Juaboso Constituency, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh also confirmed the border closure in his area has also affected traders and drivers who trade in Ivory Coast, saying their businesses have taken nose dive.
“It is clear that the closure of land borders is affecting economic activities in our border towns,” Akandoh said in Akan and asked the Akufo-Addo-led government to “reason and open the borders.”
“The Government should not only open the land borders but rather find means to test those entering the country,” he added.
Last Friday residents of Aflao in the Volta Region, led by the Ketu South MP, Madam Dzifa Gomashie, hit the streets to protest the shutting of the borders in the area, saying the opening of the borders to save people from hunger and starvation.
She said the country’s biggest border at Aflao, which connects neighboring country Togo is a business centre where many border settlers derive their sales and daily income.
The lawmaker indicated that the lack of human activities at the border coupled with the inability to cross over to Togo to buy goods to sell has compelled many businesses to shut down, denying many their only surviving means.
“My people have been suffering and complaining a lot about this, and joining them demonstrate over the issue is not about politics, but the right of my people,” she said.
The agitations are expected to heighten in the coming days as about ten (10) lawmakers from constituencies found along the borders are piling pressure on the government to open the borders to revive economic activities in the areas.