About 28 new persons comprising eight women and twenty children who attempted to cross into Ghana along the Lang Border Station have been turned away by officials of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
The Lang Border Station is about 18 kilometres between Burkina Faso and Ghana where the fresh migrants were seeking to cross into the Sissala areas of Upper West Region under the pretext of coming into the country to farm.
Chief Superintendent Samuel Donkor told the GNA in Tumu last Friday after immigration officials had gone back to Banu, Pido and Wuru where scores of refugees have settled, to ascertain the exact number of illegal migrants.
“I received a report that some eight women and 20 children came to the border in Lang where I have stationed men 24/7 and said they were coming to Banu in Ghana to farm, my recommendation was that they should refuse them entry,” he said.
“I have intensified patrols on the unapproved routes more especially the newly discovered ones into the settlements, so that those who were returned don’t find their way back to the community,” Chief Supt Donkor said. He said he was already managing the situation at Gwollu and Kupulima but was concentrating on Tumu to Wuru and Pido, about 64 kilometres away.
“My worry is that it is very far and cost intensive,” he said and added that “I am mounting a tent as soon as possible to station men there permanently for the officials to start a makeshift patrol of the area”.
Chief Supt Donkor said his last visit to the areas was occasioned by figures provided by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), which pegged the number of illegal migrants at about 1,644.
He said the GIS had conducted a head count on the migrants and had 696 of them with pictorial evidence.
Following NADMO’s quotation of 1,633 figures which show great disparity between with the GIS’s, Donkoh said: “Today, I moved into the community to ascertain the veracity of the figures” and confirmed the 696 number obtained by GIS as correct.
He noted that for any reason NADMO’s figures might be described as “expected figures” of migrants totaling 1,644 initially provided but not as total number of migrants or settlers currently staying at the Banu enclave in the Sissala East Municipality.
“Today I was there in Banu and met the national security from Bolga where we met at Banu together, we did a headcount of everybody,” he stressed.