Aside the enforcement of law and order in two feuding communities along the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Highway, the presence of the Police, Immigration Service and army has played a crucial role in warding off robbers whose activities became rampant on that road.
Road sections between Doba and Anateem communities became hotspots for the notorious activities of armed robbers who terrorized road users and robbed them of money and other valuables.
Spots such as the Anateem bridge and the Doba speedbumps are places the robbers mostly laid ambush and attacked their victims with machetes, guns and other sophisticated weapons.
In most of the reported incidents, persons who carried huge sums of cash and users of new motorcycles were targets of these miscreants who tracked, robbed the victims and bolted into the thick shrub cover on both sides of the Highway.
Occupants of commercial long journey buses and persons who sell on the Highway have not been left out in most of the reported incidents.
Reports most of the time suggest the culprits are of Fulani background with supports from natives. In all of the reported incidents, the bandits usually evaded arrests and made away with their booty before law enforcement officers arrived.
But for some time now, there has not been reported case of robbery activities on the road. Residents, road users and traders have attributed that to the presence of the about five Police, Army and an Immigration Service barrier recently mounted on the road.
The barriers consist of two Highway Police teams located before and after Kandiga, two for the Military at Doba and Kandiga and one belonging to the Ghana Immigration Service positioned near the Anateem bridge.
Even though the Army and some of the Police teams are at the locations as part of peacekeeping duties in Kandiga and Doba, where there have been conflicts over a parcel of land, road users say their presence is contributing to warding off the bandits, stating that they now commute safely even during the quiet hours of the night without fear.
Women who engage in businesses along the Highway in an interview with GhanaWeb’s Upper East Regional Correspondent, Senyalah Castro said they now feel secured to go about their work without fearing for their lives.
“I’m a seamstress in this shop and I have been here since 2017. From 2017, there has been armed robbery here, but right now the soldiers and police are there. This time we are now working very well and they have not been robbing us again” said Tina Adoyuure, a seamstress.
“The armed robbers used to beat us, let us lie on the ground and collect our phones and money. But now that the soldiers and the police are around, we are no more seeing beatings and lying down. We don’t get dirty again and we are now safe”. said another Seamstress.
Adombire Millicent, a Mobile Money merchant who operates by the roadside said even though she has not been attacked before, the robbery incidents affected her business as she mostly had to run for cover to prevent being hit by stray bullets.
She said the area would usually take a while to bounce back to brisk business atmosphere after robbery incidents and that negatively impacted her Mobile Money business and other businesses around.
Mrs Adombire also attributed the presence of the security services to the positivity and urged authorities to permanently station the police and military as a measure to completely end the nefarious activities of the bandits.
“The last time we experienced armed robbery in this place was in December (2019) but since the army and the police people have been on this road, we haven’t experienced armed robbery again. So, we appeal to the government that if the conflict is over, they should at least leave some security on our roads so that we those operating business on the roadside our safety will be guaranteed”.
Meanwhile, the siting of a Police structure on a piece of land near the Highway to help the Police in keeping the area safe is said to be one of the causes of the renewed dispute between Doba and Kandiga communities.
Construction of the structure has stopped as efforts are underway by the communities and authorities to resolve the matter amicably.