June 2, 2023

Correspondence from Northern Region

Residents of Tamale have raised concerns over what they describe as an alarming influx of undocumented foreigners in the Northern Regional capital city.

They say that this is making the Tamale Metropolis unsafe as criminal activities are on the rise.

The residents have said that they are apprehensive about the activities of most foreigners, who they accused of engaging in criminal and illegal activities.

The foreigners, mostly Nigerians, Nigeriens, and Malians have moved into the city in hundreds in the past two years with most of them engaging in street-begging and commercial sex services.

Checks by GhanaWeb reveal that most foreigners come into the country using unapproved roots.

Most of the foreigners sleep in open places in the metropolis with majority of them located at Hausa Zongo.

Other areas such as Bilpela, Banvim, Kpalsi, and Gbanyamli are notable suburbs with a huge number of undocumented foreigners.

Most of the Nigeriens and Malians are said to have fled the destructions in their home countries because of the activities of terrorist groups and in the Sahel regions while most of the Nigerians came in search of greener pastures.

Most Nigerian young ladies are deceived by their compatriots who promise them jobs in the country, only to bring them in for prostitution.

A Nigerian Commercial sex worker who spoke to GhanaWeb claimed she was brought into the country by her “madam” after promising her a job.

“I had to pay big monies to her, only to be brought in to do this ashawo business. I want to go back home but I can’t because, I have to work to pay her, I cannot even save enough for my transportation back home,” a 22-year-old lady lamented.

The residents accused the foreigners of engaging in armed robberies and other criminal activities in the city.

Mohammed Hafiz, a resident, told GhanaWeb the influx of undocumented foreigners has made Tamale unsafe.

“These days, crime is on the rise all because of these people. They are engaged in all sorts of activities and we’re all looking on. Now, Strangers trail people in town and attack at the least opportunity. Tamale was not known for this,” he bemoaned.

Another resident, Salam Abdul-Aziz said it was surprising that authorities have not done anything in finding a solution to what he said was becoming a menace.

He said the streets of Tamale have been taken over by the foreigners, yet nothing is done to fish them out.

“During the day, all major streets are taken over by healthy young men, and women and children who are non-Ghanaians who engage in begging. At night, the streets are again taken over by non-Ghanaians who are either engaged in gambling, betting, or prostitution, yet no one is concerned,” he said.

The residents called on city authorities to find a way to weed them out of the country as according to them, Some of them could actually be spies for terrorist organisations.

The issue of the influx of strangers in Tamale became a major talking point in the city, especially after rumours went rife on social media regarding some suspicious persons sighted around the Mole National Park in the Savannah Region.

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