Police at Ejisu in the Ashanti Region have intercepted two cargo trucks which were transporting over 70 head porters, popularly known as kayayei, to Walewale in the North East Region.
This occurred during the two-week partial lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Kasoa which began on Monday as part of measures to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The drivers had covered the trucks with tarpaulins to try and outsmart the security personnel stationed at the various checkpoints.
Passengers onboard the vehicles were mostly head porters who were travelling to the North East Region with their children in a bid to escape the partial lockdown in Accra.
Luck, however, eluded the drivers as they were incepted by police at Ejisu.
ACP Stephen Tane Ngissah, the Ejisu Divisional Police Commander in the Ashanti Region, recounted that the trucks had been stopped at a checkpoint “but when we went closer, we got to know that there were human beings inside so that is how we got them”.
He also noted that some of their checkpoints needed more support.
“We have even sent a circular that we need other security services to come and assist us to contain the pressure,” he said.
Meanwhile Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu, Beatrice Serwaa Derkyi has directed the police to send the trucks with all passengers on board back to Accra.
“If the cars are coming, you should stop them for them to go back to Accra or wherever they are coming from but they [the two cargo trucks] have been able to cross Ejisu,” she complained.
Before the lockdown, the travel of kayayei from Accra to northern Ghana, where a number of them hail from, increased dramatically.
Kayayei, who seldom have places to sleep when operating in cities, are known as one of the most vulnerable groups in urban areas.