A young man has been killed and his motorcycle snatched by armed robbers in the Upper East Region. The incident which occurred on Monday night at Zorkor-Tarongo in the Bongo district of the Upper East region has caused cold shivers and panic in residents of the area and adjourning towns.
The incident occurred on the Tarongo stretch of the Bolgatanga – Sirigu road and residents blame it on the bad nature of the road. A resident who spoke to Bolga-based Dreamz FM and monitored by myactiveonline lamented the situation amidst calls for action by authorities to ensure the security of residents in the area.
“I was in Bolga around 5 to 6 and I got home and I had a call from my colleague that somebody has just shot around 7 to 8 in the night actually. When they got there they heard a sound pound like somebody had a flat tyre so when they got there a young man lying down and then they snatched the motorbike. They also stabbed her with a knife. Then according to the people who were around, they said the armed robbers were heading towards Bolga to Sirigu area so when they got to Nyariga they stopped by and picked money from a Mobile Money vendor before heading towards Zorkor. So they met this young man and they did what they did”.
According to the resident, that incident is not the only one as several others have fallen victim to the preying criminals. There are several cases which are of recent and others that happened in the past year.
“And that incident is not the only isolated case. I can tell you for the past two weeks the community has been living in fear. Several motorbikes have been snatched. Several people have been traumatized. Last two Zorkor market days, there was a similar alarm raised that armed robbers were coming to the market. People had to run helter-skelter and left the market. Around 2pm a whole market was scattered. So the stretch from Zorkor to Sirigu, the road has not been nice so armed robbers have taken advantage of that and have been terrorizing the residents of the area. Particularly, the Sirigu bridge has now break down completely. No car can pass there. So sometimes when you’re passing through that road, people should now be careful and then these armed robbers they are just terrorizing us. We live in fear”.
He added that about five motorbikes have been snatched on that stretch of the road which he says he knows all those victims and thus called for police protection for the communities. On whether authorities are aware of the rising robbery cases in the area, he was affirmative but added that since the area does not fall within one district it is not a one man show but a collective effort where leadership of both sides need to come together to devise a solution to the problem. According to him, there is the need for a Police station along the stretch. He lamented that how a Police post at Zorkor which was built some years back has been left to rot without personnel to man it. Another case of neglect is what he said another post was built along the stretch just closer to the bridge which has now become a trap and operational zone for the armed robbers and that offered some form of Police visibility then but now there is nothing like that so the armed robbers always have a field day.
Recounting past incidents he added,
I remember last year they shot a lady and picked a Honda motorbike in broad day light, around 8am in the morning.
He says authorities are aware of how bad the situation is and blamed the unmotorable road as the cause of the rising robbery cases The nature of the road he claims is distasteful to talk about since have decided to turn it into a political cash point to win residents support.
As for the road I won’t talk about it because politicians have taken advantage of that road. I remember the just ended elections Bawumia (Vice President) came and promised that the road has been awarded and work is ongoing. Nothing has happened. I have even had the occasion to speak with the regional minister Hon. Paulina Abayage on that same road behind scenes and she has promised time and again that the road will be worked on. Is the nature of the road that gave the armed robbers the opportunity to be doing what they are doing.
He said the Sirigu bridge in particular is a hot zone for robbery operations. The bridge has collapsed leaving a narrow portion where motorist use and once the armed robbers intercept you at that spot, you have no options and they get what they want.
He said there is no police visibility there and he’s been using the road regularly and cannot remember the last time he sighted a Police patrol team along that stretch. He thus appealed to the people of Sirigu and Zorkor to come together and get a Police post around the area to ensure safety of residents.
The young man who was killed is reported to have been conveyed to the regional hospital morgue for preservation and identification.