The Ghana Police Service has assured organisers of the 2019 Year of Return and the public of adequate security and protection as the nation opens its gates for more visitors, including some 250 high-profile celebrities, who are coming to Ghana for the Yuletide.
The Police Director of Operations, ACP Dr. Sayibu Pabi Gariba, who gave the assurance, said measures had already been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and citizens alike at the borders, airports and seaports of the country.
Speaking at a stakeholders' meeting at the Ghana Tourism Authority headquarters in Accra, the police chief indicated that event organisers have nothing to fear about the safety and security of their patrons.
The organisers of this year's event had raised concerns about the security for the programme in which more than 20,000 people are expected to attend.
According to them, the Christmas celebration, coupled with the Year of Return programme, would eventually increase the number of visitors into the country and, therefore, anticipated busy streets, especially in Accra, during the holidays.
They believe this situation could compromise the safety and security of revelers, who have been invited for the programme.
But the Police Director of Operation said the country had done enough to ensure that venues, streets and other crowded areas are secure to ward off any eventuality.
The Head of Protection at the National Security, Nadal Majdoub, also said more plain-clothes national security operatives would be deployed as part of the security arrangements at various centres to deal with security concerns.
“It is important that we have the arrival schedules of any VIP for us to know how to handle these arrivals,” he indicated and added that security begins at the airport.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman; Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President and Chairman of Year of Return, Akwasi Ababio, and the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah.
Afrochella, Afro Nation, Polo Beach Club and Little Havana were among some of the event organisers who were in attendance.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, as part of the 2019 Year of Return programme, has extended the Visa on Arrival process to all travellers to encourage high patronage of the programme.
The organisers have also slashed the fee down from $150.00 to $75.00.