The Tomato Traders and Transporters Association has commended the Ghana Police Service for providing security escorts on their business trips from Kumasi to Paga and vice-versa.
The traders said they needed the escorts to protect them from highway robberies on their journey to buy tomatoes in Burkina Faso.
On February 5, 2021, members of the Association blocked the Bolgatanga-Navrongo Highway in protest of the increased robbery along the Kumasi-Bolgatanga-Paga route, which led to the deaths of some members, while others lost their monies to those armed robbers.
The traders, therefore, embarked on a strike resulting in the shortage of tomatoes and price hikes at the time.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr George Akuffo Dampare, quickly intervened and directed that the traders should be provided security escorts to protect them from the highway robbers.
Mr Eric Osei Tuffour, Chairman of the Tomato Traders and Transporters in Ghana, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency at Pwalugu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, confirmed that they had not recorded highway robberies following the police escort.
He said they had neither recorded any accidents involving their drivers because of the discipline on the roads due to speed checks and commended the IGP and the police fraternity for the security of the traders.
Mr Benjamin Owusu Ansah, a truck driver, operating on the Kumasi-Bolgatanga-Paga road, said many of the accidents that occurred two years ago on that stretch mostly involved tomato trucks.
“This was because the drivers were either over speeding or overtaking. But now there is discipline on the road because the police officers move with us from Kumasi to Paga and back,” he added.
Madam Adjoa Safowaa, the Kumasi Tomato Queen Mother, said the traders used to travel at night, putting them at high risk of armed robbery attacks.
She commended the IGP and the police for going to their rescue, saying aside from the escorts, they also advised the traders to move in batches to ensure serenity and security on the roads.