The important role of Bawku as an entrepot has never been so threatened.
Onions and legumes from Maradi in Niger, cattle from neighbouring Burkina Faso, all pass through this ancient commercial hub. Sankase in nearby Togo is also close, features which have given the town a special trading status unrivalled by other border localities.
The bustling commercial activities are however giving way to despair as many people out of fear of the security degeneration in the town are gradually vacating it.
The fatal shooting of three persons, drivers who were transporting tomatoes and pepper through the town to the South, defines an emerging danger for both traders and those behind the wheels of cargo trucks.
An old town which has produced great sons and daughters for the country in various disciplines going through such unenviable bloodshedding is a regrettable reality.
When will this cycle of violence and death cease? For now, none of the interventions appear to be working, leaving us with no option than to pray and throw up our hands in despair.
The expenditure being incurred by the state in terms of managing security personnel deployed to the town is enormous, money which could have been used for critical development projects. What a worrying opportunity cost!
We are saddened as are others who are following developments in the ancient town of Bawku at the non-response of the treatments so far administered on the security ailment bedeviling the town.
When a municipality inches towards the uninspiring status of hopelessness and failure, we think the state should rethink the strategies.
As we mentioned in a previous editorial, the rate at which the situation in Bawku is deteriorating presents cracks which terrorists across the border can exploit for their selfish ends.
The quantity of sophisticated weapons at the hands of non-state actors in Bawku is something which has not escaped national security managers.
Unfortunately, an antidote to the security anomaly has not yet been found. Even more worrying is the fact that these weapons will continue to be out of the reach of law enforcement personnel, and as they do more blood would be shed. If only this reality can reverse.
Recently 500 soldiers were deployed to the town with orders to stabilise it. Perhaps these are early days, but as the soldiers dig in, we expect to see changes in the security architecture of the restive town so that innocent lives do not continue to perish.
If the situation where innocent persons such as cargo truck drivers risk their lives when they transport onion, tomatoes and legumes to the South persists, it would not be long before the availability of the foregone in Southern markets can no longer be guaranteed.
The disclosure by one of the drivers who survived the attack that police officers refused to provide them with escort as they left the municipality is something which the regional police command should probe, especially if that is a standard.
The Municipal Security Council would have to take up the issue of providing escorts for commercial buses and cargo trucks leaving the municipality, more seriously to obviate a recurrence of the fatal shooting of the drivers.
Source: Daily Guide