A fact finding mission which took the paper’s reporters some of the popular hotels and holiday resorts in the capital revealed that search protocols which were introduced in the wake of the heightened terror alert are still in place.
At the Labadi beach hotel, there were a number of security measures being implemented to ensure the safety of their clients.
At the main entrance, security personnel at the gate continue to inspect cars of customers with bomb detection gargets and scanners. According to the head of security, Mr. Colbert Ashong, the hotel is collaborating with the police and military in ensuring the safety of their clients by putting in measures such as joint police and military patrol on the premises and in front of the hotel. Panic alarms have also been installed, and staff continue to receive training on how to evacuate people in in case of fire outbreaks among others.
The hotel disclosed that the recent alert has negatively impacted on patronage of the facility. Many foreign clients who had booked the facility had to cancel their bookings in response to various travel advisory on traveling to Ghana by some countries. Local patrons have however not declined, according to the hotel, signifying maybe the indomitable spirit of the Ghanaian.
Mr. Ashong, the head of security called on government to beef up security around the Labadi Beach perimeter, which is opened to the general public, to ensure the place is more secured. He entreated the hotel’s customers not to be scared to come to the facility because the management has put in place measures to ensure their safety during their stay at the hotel.
At the beach (Labadi), the administrator bemoaned the low patronage following the terror alert. He stated that the management and government are collaborating to ensure maximum security measures are put in place. Initially a joint military, police, and BNI personnel patrolled the beach with most of them dressed in mufti. According to Afutu Nikoi, the administrator of the beach, the three land boundaries of the beach are well secured with regular security patrols. He gave the assurance that they are making a lot of effort to make the place safe and asked the general public to continue patronising the place as they have nothing to be scared of.
At Vienna city night club at the Labadi beach, the supervisor said, patronage is beginning to bounce back after a short period of sharp decline. According to him, they experience a huge revenue shortfall, especially around the months of March and April. On the average the facility made about GHS23,000.00 on a regular Sunday and about GHS35,000.00 on holidays. However, sales plummeted to as low as GHS16,000.00 on the average during those heightened alert. He cited the beach terrorist massacre in Ivory Coast as a major source of fear for beach goers at the time.
Salamatu, a vendor at the beach also confirmed that business is beginning to pick up as a result of the sense of security that have been restored by the new security arrangements at the beach, as well as the shift in the media’s focus on a possible terror attack.
Coconut Grove Hotel, a popular workshop destination, have also ensured that all vehicles entering the hotel premises are properly screened.
In the wake of terror attacks worldwide, and in close by Mali, Burkina, and La Cote d’voire, Ghana was put on security alert. This was compounded by the prophesy by T.B. Joshua that Ghana and Nigeria were going to be attacked within a month.
The Ghana Immigration Service’s leaked wire instituting new screening protocols at the countries border posts added to the anxiety over a supposed terror attack.
Source: Public Agenda
By Evelyn Addor and Latifa Carlos