Police Escort For Farmers, Cocoa Officials, Agents

IGP Akuffo Dampare (middle), COCOBOD and other police management members after the meeting

OFFICIALS OF the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), its licensed allied agencies and farmers, will henceforth enjoy police escort services to prevent further criminal attacks.

Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akufo Dampare, who disclosed this yesterday to journalists in Accra after he met management of COCOBOD and licensed buying companies to discuss security lapses within the sector and how the police could provide strategic assistance to the sector, said by the arrangement, officials disbursing funds, farmers receiving cocoa funds and trucks carrying cocoa beans from farming communities to the ports would be given escort services.

In attendance were members of the Police management board, senior police officers, officials of COCOBOD led by Dr Emmanuel Opoku, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Administration.

ACP Kwesi Ofori, who also briefed the media after a two hour close door discussions between the police and Cocobod officials, said the there had been reports on attacks on COCOBOD officials disbursing funds, farmers and trucks transporting the cocoa beans to the various ports over the past years.

“We have resolved to put in security measures in terms of conducting snap checks in these areas, providing escort services and providing security to the farmers who come into contact with money to ensure that they are safe and run their businesses without fear,” he noted.

He said cocoa was the back bone of Ghana’s economy and as such, the police would not sit aloof and watch criminals misbehave in the sector.

“The police has indicated its readiness to ensure that these problems do not occur and have directed all regional commanders in these areas to assist in this regard.”

On his part, Fifi Boafo, Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, thanked the police for their readiness to provide security to officials and agents.

“It is the first time we are meeting with the police who have been very helpful in this regard” he said adding that “over GH¢2.5 billion have been pumped into the sector and needs to be protected.

BY Linda Tenyah-Ayettey