The Western Regional Police has described ‘as untrue’ reports that some Nigerians have kidnapped eight children and kept them in an underground tunnel in a hotel, near Ahenkofi in the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis.
At about 1500 hours on Sunday, residents of Ahenkofi besieged a popular hotel, Evergreen Hotel, to demand the release of eight alleged kidnapped children, who they claimed had been hidden there.
However, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Olivia Adiku, the Regional Public Relations Officer, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Police was informed about the suspected case but when their personnel were deployed to the area, it turned out to be a false alarm.
DSP Adiku said the Police was on top of the issues and would work at promoting peace, tranquillity and harmonious living among all residents.
She said such false alarms could end the lives of innocent people. "It took the timely intervention of the Police to save an innocent guy who was passing by in his car, otherwise, would he would have been lynched..., this vandalism would not help.”
DSP Adiku urged the media to cross check information with the appropriate authorities such as the Command to avoid sensational reportage, which continued to worsen the already existing tension.
Meanwhile, the Management of the hotel, owned by a Ghanaian couple, has also expressed disappointment at the behaviour of the residents and pleaded that though kidnapping had become an issue of concern to many in recent times, such false alarms could hamper the work of security agencies and heighten social insecurity and tension.
Police say they have so far recorded four hoax cases.
The Gender Minister, Ms. Cynthia Morrison, over the weekend visited the families of the three girls reported to have been kidnapped in the Metropolis to empathise with them and assure them of the Government’s commitment to bringing the perpetrators to book.
According to her, the suspect in the case being held by the Police had confessed that the children were still alive and she was hopeful that they would be connected to their families soon.
Media reports of several cases of alleged kidnapping over the past weeks have created a virtual state of panic as well as suspicion, especially against Nigerian residents.