A joint security force made up of personnel from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) Security on Wednesday morning foiled an attempt by some unidentified individuals to set the oldest market in the Tema metropolis ablaze.
The over 2,000 traders of the Community One Market have lived in fear for the past four weeks after a notice was put up by faceless persons that the market will be burnt.
This prompted the Metropolitan Security Service to form the joint security force and put it on high alert.
“A certain boy at the lorry park shouted ‘fire’,” Eric Okyere, TMA’s Chief Security Officer, told TV3 News.
“So they called me on the phone. [The arsonists] run away so we couldn’t see them,” he stated.
Robert Kempes Ofosuware, the Municipal Chief Executive of TMA, assured that a 24-hour surveillance will continue to be mounted by the joint security force to ensure that the market does not tumble down to the alleged arsonists.
“This will serve as a wake-up call. We will go back to the drawing table and intensify security measures here,” he told journalists.
The Tema Region Police Commander, DCOP Maxwell Atingane, noted that the police have been patrolling the market for the past one-and-a-half month since some major markets in the country suffered fire disasters.
“We had all the patrol teams going around the market throughout the night. It is this measure that has made us to discover this,” he observed.
Traders were full of praise for the security team for the timely intervention.
Fire disasters have hit major markets in Accra and Kumasi, forcing government to invite forensic experts to ascertain whether there are any traces of arson in the various 'attacks'.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ghana Police Service has explained that the suspect(s) lit two sticks of candle, put them in a plastic bag, stuffed it with polythene bags and placed it between two wooden tables, and set it in front of a big store in the market.
"However, due to the vigilance of the Police and the other security officers who have been patrolling the market day and night, the fire was instantly found and put out," the statement signed by DSP Cephas Arthur, the Director of Public Affairs of the Service, indicated.
It assured that security measures have been adopted not only to protect the country's markets but also "other vital installations" from arsonists.
"Arsonists are therefore warned to desist from carrying out any nefarious activities, as they would be dealt when caught."
The Police asked the public to volunteer any information that will lead to the arrest of the "perpetrators".
Source: TV3 News|Ghana