The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government is committed towards helping to find a solution to the political impasse in neighbouring Togo.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 30th October, 2017, when Togbega Amenya Fiti V, Paramount Chief of the Anlo-Aflao Traditional State, together with Chiefs of the State, paid a courtesy call on him at the Presidency.
Describing the situation in Togo as “disturbing for all of us”, President Akufo-Addo recounted the disturbances that occurred in 2005, in the wake of the death of the former President of Togo, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, and the succession problems it created, which resulted in over 100,000 Togolese refugees streaming across the border into Ghana.
“Anything that happens in Togo is a matter of great concern to you. It is a matter of concern to us and all the people of Ghana. You can be sure that I cannot be idle, as these events take place,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “The Togolese President came to see me in Tamale 10 days ago, and I have been meeting a lot of the political actors in the situation, and, definitely, we are all working to see how we can bring this crisis to a closure, and bring stability and peace back to Togo. It is in all of our interests to do so.”
The President assured Togbega Amenya Fiti V that “I am not staying idle in this matter. We are acting. Let us pray for understanding and the blessing of the Almighty so that we can find a solution, that will be in the interest of the people of Togo, and then, by implication, the people of Ghana.”
On the request for the creation of an Aflao Municipal Assembly by Togbega Fiti V, President Akufo-Addo noted that one of the things his government is having to work out is the creation of a district where there is no constituency.
He, however, assured “I have done a lot of work on your behalf, and the Minister for Local Government, Hajia Alima Mahama, is waiting to hold a meeting with you, in order to bring the Municipality into being. For me, it makes a lot of sense (that the Municipality is created).”
Touching on the 8th June, 2017, decision taken by government to implement a 24-hour open border policy at the Aflao border with Togo, President Akufo-Addo noted that this policy is in conformity with Ghana’s commitment to ECOWAS, and it Protocols on the Free Movement of Goods and Persons.
He noted, nonetheless, that when policies such as this are being implemented for constructive purposes,” there are always a few criminal minds who want to use it for another purpose. It is a good occasion to ask for your help so that those who want to use the open-border for smuggling and illicit activities, as much as possible, we mobilise the population and make sure that it doesn’t happen.”
President Akufo-Addo appealed for the support of the Chiefs and people of the Anlo-Aflao State “to complement the law enforcement agencies to make sure that smuggling is not a part of the open-border policy.”
The President reiterated the commitment of government to working with traditional authorities in this country, noting that the Constitution of the Republic requires that Central Government works hand-in-hand with the traditional authorities to give the country good governance.
“I am extremely committed to the teachings of the Constitution that we should work together. We have to co-operate for the benefit of the people of Ghana,” he added.