Residents of Ahinkofi, a suburb of Sekondi in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis of the Western Region on Sunday besieged the Greenleaf Hotel over suspicion that some Nigerians alleged to be kidnappers are lodging there.
It follows the account of a 19-year-old resident, Emmanuel Aidoo, that four gentlemen had allegedly attempted to abduct him on Friday, January 25, 2019.
The residents, numbering over one hundred, besieged the hotel in search of the suspected group of Nigerians lodging there.
The charged residents, some of whom were wielding knives, wooden planks, machetes, broken blocks, swords and a locally manufactured gun, moved from one room to the other looking for the alleged Nigerians.
However, the search showed nothing.
The residents became more animated when they discovered a hole under the hotel that can hold more than 10 people at a time - a hole leading to a cave of a sort under the hotel, raising questions as to why it – the hole – has to be there.
One Emmanuel Aidoo, who claimed some gentlemen attempted to abduct him, narrated they had asked for directions to a funeral. “I was even bemused because a loud sound was coming from speakers at the funeral grounds and so they could have easily followed it,” he said.
He says while showing them the way, “I saw three other people approaching from my back and before I could do anything one of them held me from the back”.
Emmanuel Aidoo said: “I struggled, broke free and took to my heels”. A group of well-built young men in the community have resolved to deal ruthlessly with anyone caught.
Some have also threatened to burn down the hotel as the owner put up a resistance when they wanted to search the rooms.
Western Regional Commander of the SWAT Superintendent George Effah, who was at the scene with a team from the Takoradi Divisional Police Command, entreated the residents to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands.
“We appreciate the pain families of the victims are going through but it is still a crime for anyone to engage in mob justice.”
He added, “At this moment, we want all to be careful and volunteer information so that the police can act swiftly”. Some bystanders at the scene expressed worry that if care is not taken, an innocent person may be lynched. They are concerned that now many residents of Sekondi-Takoradi become apprehensive and want to act violent at the mention of “Nigerian”.