Some traders in Gushegu Municipality in Northern Region say they are living in fear following heightened insecurity created in the area over rampant highway robbery.
There are reports that commercial vehicles who convey traders from various communities to the Gushegu market have on a number of occasioned been stopped by robbers and occupants of such vehicles robbed at gunpoint on the Tamale-Gushegu highway.
Reports indicate that such attacks occurred several times in October 2020 with many raising concerns.
The traders have thus called on security operatives to deal decisively with the criminals.
Many of them have attributed the surge in highway robberies in the area to the growing influence of the Gushegu municipality, which has become very attractive to traders in Northern Region, and other parts of the country.
The thousands of trade volumes recorded in the ancient town with a population of about 142,000, is largely based on agrarian products such as tubers, cereals, and other staples cultivated in commercial quantities in all the towns and villages in the municipality.
Reports indicate that the stretch of roads connecting the various communities such as Gbindili, Zilinbo, Yendi, Nakpanduri, to the Municipal capital, have all, very often, been invaded by the hoodlums especially on Gushegu market day.
The Gushegu market is adjudged one of the largest markets in Ghana, and in West Africa, therefore attracting thousands of traders weekly.
Under the circumstance, any insecurity in the area that goes unchecked the traders noted, could jeopardize the lives of thousands of traders and the working population.
“The armed robbery cases are common in the Gushegu municipality just as other places in Ghana. But the recent cases are just too many and rampant and must be looked at with alacrity.”
“For a week now, there have been four different armed robbery attacks in the municipality. These cases have occurred on market days, and vulnerable women and traders who were on their trading expeditions robbed at gunpoint,” Abdul Kudus Mankurili, a concerned citizen of the area lamented in a Citi News interview.
To this end, he appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to turn his attention to the area.
He noted that the most recent and tragic one occurred last Thursday along the Gushegu-Gimbali road.
“So sad, the driver of the attacked vehicle was mercilessly shot in the face multiple times and this got him dead with the passengers being robbed with their monies amounting to thousands of Ghana cedis if not millions of cedis. Some passengers on board and their loved ones suffered a shock of unconsciousness, and are still being hospitalized. May Allah heal them and strengthen them and return to them in a million folds what they lost,” he said in the interview.
According to the complainant, in all these robbery cases, the police, the Municipal Assembly, and the traditional authorities have been tight-lipped and appear adamant in tackling this canker.
“The people in the municipality are therefore at risk and are living in fear” he submitted.
It’s against the above background, that he humbly called on the Gushegu Municipal Security Council (MUSEC ) headed by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), the Gushegu Municipal Police Commander, Northern Regional Commander and the traditional authorities, to as a matter of urgency collaborate with key stakeholder institutions to put up their best effort to get a lasting solution to these armed robbery cases.
Yushawu Iddrisu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the top security companies operating in the country, S4U Security consult, and his brother were allegedly robbed at gunpoint along the Zilinbo stretch of road heading to Gushegu.
Speaking in an interview in confirmation of the insecurity in the area, he said he personally had a bitter encounter with armed robbers in the area recently.
According to him, the modus operandi applied during the attack he personally witnessed, was that the armed robbers block the highway to prevent movement of all vehicles heading to Gushegu and those coming out.
He explained that although the armed robbers did not harm them after collecting all their money, mobile phones, and other important gadgets from them, they had the effrontery to demand from them loaves of bread they had purchased from Tamale for their aged grandfather in Gushegu.
This, the victim narrated, demonstrated to him, that the criminals were not only carlos but bent on destroying lives and causing harm to people.
“They were equally bent on tampering with the psychological mindset of their victims. I got shocked when they took everything from us, and when they were about leaving, one of them whispered to the other that we even have bread in the car, and they quickly returned to seize the loaves of bread in our possession. That is terrible and unconscionable,” he said angrily.