Ever since the phenomenon of kidnapping reared its head in Ghana in 2018, many Ghanaians have felt the shivers down their spines though not everyone believes the nefarious activities of the perpetrators are real.
Shockingly, not even the disappearance of the three Takoradi girls as well as the attacks and abduction cases of some foreign nationals being recorded in the country in recent times could cast away their doubts.
As doubting ‘Thomases’, either they experience these activities of the so-called kidnappers themselves or hear from a close relative who escaped being a victim share his/her story before they can come to terms of the realities of the phenomenon.
Well for those who are still living in doubt about the existence of the kidnapping phenomenon in Ghana in recent times, 22-year-old SHS graduate who recently escaped from the hands her abductors has been sharing her harrowing story.
Linda Owusuwaa Danso is a resident of Anyaa-Palace Town, a suburb of Accra. She graduated last year but due to weak grades in Core Mathematics she couldn’t get enrolled into school.
She is currently undergoing remedial studies to better her grades in order to guarantee her entry into the university to further her studies.
According to Linda Owusuwaa Danso, she met her ‘waterloo’ one fateful morning, somewhere in May 2019 while on her way for lectures.
While walking a stretch leading to the ‘School Junction’, (the nearest bus stop) where she can find a commercial bus to board to school, she chanced upon a taxi driver who offered her a lift to the junction to save her time and ease her burden.
“He mentioned my name and asked, if I’m off to school and I nodded in agreement and he went ahead to add that ‘looking at the time, it looks like you’re running late for school’ that I should hop into the car so he can drop me off at the Junction.”
“It sounded to me like an offer from a ‘Good Samaritan’ therefore there was no way I could reject it. Also looking at the face of the driver, it looked familiar to me so I did not entertain any fear and there didn’t hesitate to join him.”
Miss Danso said she sat at the back of the taxi together with two other passengers, both men.
She further averred that while they were on the way, she noticed a strange happening which kept her wondering to herself and even made her a bit worried and uncomfortable but she decided to keep her cool and even encouraged herself not to bother her head over it since it meant nothing.
Recounting her ordeal, she said, “I observed one of the men seated handed over a ten (10) Ghana cedis note to the driver and signalled to him to alight him at an unknown location which does not exist on the stretch the car is plying”.
“In fact that also made me confused and I wondered if it is appropriate but I again decided to let go”.
According to her, another instance that got her befuddled was when she was asked to mention the time of the day which she did correctly, but unfortunately that was disbelieved by the passengers on board.
They demanded of her to verify that by a look on her mobile phone which she did hesitantly, a request she was not comfortable with but had to comply just to please them.
Since her stay in the car, she observed one strange event leading to another all in just a spate of five minutes, then came the unthinkable one when she heard the driver call on her to help him push a black polythene rubber bag which contained an unknown substance.
Linda narrates the seeming opening of the rubber bag almost led to the dropping of its content which hangs precariously at its edge.
“He asked me to push the rubber into the compartment with my hand and I obeyed. While I was doing that with one of my hands, he asked me to use both of my hands instead.”
At this point, Linda began to suspect a foul play but was still cool within.
“But just when I was about balancing myself, to carry out his orders, I felt in my spirit that I should look on my right and I did.
“To my surprise I observed that the man by my side was holding in his hand a white handkerchief laced with a powdered substance and was almost getting ready to grab my head from behind so he can force it on my nose to trigger me to inhale it.
“It dawned on me that I’m in a big trouble and if care is not taken I’ll never get to see my parents again. Then all of a sudden I reached out to the door knob and pull it open by force. I was lucky it wasn’t locked up and I began to yell for help”.
Linda bemoaned her rescue did not occur at the time she foiled the attempts of the kidnappers by pushing the door open but rather it was when a trotro driver crossed the path of her driver that made him apply the brakes.
“One of my legs was outside the car while the driver was still driving without stopping despite my cry for help. If it hadn’t been that trotro driver he wouldn’t have braked for me to escape.”
Linda concluded by saying she believed God must have intervened which led to her rescue if not she would have been kidnapped and would never get to see her lovely parents again, just as how it seems to have happened to the three Takoradi girls.
She vehemently vowed never to accept any form of a lift from a stranger or someone familiar to her even if she is in hurry going school, church or town.
“Whether from a familiar person or not, I will never accept any offer of that sort again in my entire life in order to stay safe always.”
She therefore appealed to all Ghanaians especially children, young girls and women to desist from accepting lift from strangers so as not to fall victims to kidnappers.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|Human Rights Reporters Ghana