Interior Minister Mark Woyongo has asked security agencies to organize vigilante groups in communities along the Ghana-Togo Border.
According to the minster the long and porous nature of the border between the two countries and the fact that security agencies do not have enough men to man the numerous unapproved routes make it incumbent on the security agencies to forge closer ties with civilians.
"My suggestion is that you cultivate the people living along that borderline. Sensitize them and possibly motivate them. So that anytime they have information about suspicious movements, they will just call you and then you move to the point. Even to go beyond that, you can have vigilante. The villages along the borderline where you do not have your presence, organize vigilante. Anytime they see a smuggler passing they should arrest the person, and then you give them an award or some incentive", Mark Woyongo said.
The minister was speaking at a Durbar of Security Agencies at The Akanu-Noepe Border Post in the Volta Region as part of his two-day working visit to the region.
Also present were personnel of the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), Ghana Immigration Service, Fire Service and the Ghana Police Service. A similar meeting was also held at Aflao.
The minister also encouraged the personnel of the various security agencies to be nice to the civilian populace in the areas of operation and not to brutalize them.
Mark Woyongo also hinted of an amendment to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) to enable Immigration Officers to carry weapon on their duty posts, which the current law frowns upon.
According to the minister, cabinet have already approved the bill which is expected to be presented to parliament for parliamentary approval.
"And I am hoping that by next year the immigrations officers will be given weapons.
"How can you patrol the border with your ten fingers, When the smuggler is armed with AK47, a pistol or locally manufactured guns", the minister wondered.
This mister mentioned that the amendment is part of government policy to equip all security agencies at borders.