Ivorian refugeesOn the 25th of May, 2012, Joy FM reported in one of its evening news bulletins that about 200 former Ivorian militants who were living as refugees in Ghana had escaped from their temporary place of residence, Elubo Eagles Camp. Shocked, I shivered at the news.

Not too long ago (in this dear country of ours), there were rumors to the effect that a number of militants from Nigeria’s Niger Delta had found their way into Ghana and were eagerly looking forward to bringing their experiences to bear and possibly partaking in any ?oil fight or war? resulting from the crude oil discovery in the Western Region of Ghana. Chineke! God forbid.

Flashback to 21st May 2012, there were confirmed reports on Joy FM about an attempted smuggle of pump guns into Ghana via the border shared with Togo.

Now, I must confess myself as being overly suspicious at times and here goes: a few foreigners within our borders (Nigerians to be precise and plain) suggest the possibility of a resource/oil war breaking out in Ghana, a number of prominent politicians with?to all evidences and purposes?prominent brains came out, making non-prominent and reckless comments such as ?there being many ways of killing a cat? in reference to the alleged corruption in Ghana’s judiciary. There were also comments that smacked of some sort of thinly veiled ethnocentrism.

Can you see a picture emerge? A picture emerges, when you top and tie these past occurrences to the escape of the 200 former Ivorian militants into the Ghanaian unknown. Where are they now? That should be a secondary question; let’s tackle the first.

How did they escape in the first place and why?
According to reports (at modernghana.com): ?The Ghana Refugee Board had planned to relocate the inmates of the Eagles Camp to Ankaful because the camp is too close to the country’s entry point at Elubo, which is less than a kilometre from the border and is considered a threat to national security. At the moment, everybody is at a loss at to how the inmates managed to escape from the camp in the full glare of National Security operatives and officials of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB).?

The report continued: ?Perhaps the mention of the name Ankaful Prison made them to think that they were going to be imprisoned hence their escape. The former militants and other inmates of the camp left for town, while others joined their friends at the Ampain Camp.?

Now, here I am; seated before my pc and wondering; how could security operatives and officials of the GRB (Ghana Refugee Board) be unaware of the significance of semantics. If you tell refugees that you’re planning to relocate them to a more secured place and this particular place goes by the name ?prison,? what do you want them to think? They aren’t dumb?!

And, here’s the second and serious question: where are they at this moment? Well, by now, they have probably divided themselves into 10 groups (20 former militants per group) and are already on a tour of the ten regions of Ghana. I can even bet my keyboard then stick my neck out to argue that they are very much into enjoying our hospitable-refugee-loving but security-unconscious Ghanaian atmosphere and will soon be planning a major move.

You wonder about the major move?
What if this army of 200 former militants decide to find their way back to Cote D’Ivoire (their number sort of reminds me of the Spartan movie 300) to stage a coup and plunge the country into another bloody civil war?

What if they join forces with the illegal foreigners within our borders and try staging a fight to buy a few socio-political shares in our country’s geo-politics?

Frightened? Come on, don’t click away yet. I’m taking off my Sherlock Holmes replica cap; there won’t be anymore deductive questions to throw in your face.

And that brings us to the third and troublesome question: what are our leaders, security agencies and operatives, and the Ghana Refugee Board doing about it? And will they even be capable of doing something about this?

The manner in which the 200 former militants escaped makes me to suspect that the security operatives and GRB officials who were policing the camp weren’t and aren’t top notch. Or, was it because of the holiday celebrations; the African Union day celebrations? The security operatives and officials were so much into the holidaying; so much so that the refugees were able to give them the slip? Wow!

This case should be referred to the BNI (Bureau of National Investigation) in the bating of a breath! And they should be quick about it?before something tragic arises out of the escaped militants-cum-refugees’ Nicodemous flight, please.

Source: Stanley Courage Dugah.


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