Sakawa Man Climbs Tree

DRAMA UNFOLDED at New Takoradi, a fishing community in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis yesterday, as thousands of people trooped to catch a glimpse of an alleged ‘sakawa’ man who spent almost 24 hours on top of one of the tallest trees in the vicinity.

The man, who is believed to be about 24years, wore a black T-shirt and black trousers, allegedly climbed the tree at Poase, a suburb of New Takoradi, at about 9:00 pm on Saturday and all efforts by the residents to bring him down failed.

According to eye-witness accounts, the young man whose name was not immediately known and did not reside in the area, was seen walking along the beach at Poase on Saturday afternoon and upon interrogation, indicated that he hailed from Mankesim in the Central Region.

When DAILY GUIDE got to the scene at bout 3:00pm, thousands of residents had converged under the tree, trying to persuade the man who was on top of it to climb down.

Personnel of the Ghana Police Service, led by the Deputy Western Regional Police Commander, ACP Robert Mark Azu, and the Takoradi District Police Commander, Dela Dzansi, the Ghana National Fire Service and the Ambulance Service, were using every strategy to persuade him to descend from the tree to no avail.

One of the residents, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE and gave his name as Kwamena, alleged that the boy was engaged in sakawa or blood money and that he needed to do something to pull the crowd so that he could get more money, hence his action.

“I can tell you that when they do this, the thicker the crowd, the more they get money,” he alleged

The resident said when those staying around the location of the tree saw him climbing it on Saturday evening at about 9:00pm; they were terrified and wondered what he was going to look for on top of the tree at that time.

Some of the people raised an alarm which attracted more people to the scene while the boy continued to climb up and even requested for food and water which was offered to him by the residents. He never came down but slept on the tree till Sunday.

While some of the residents claimed the boy might be suffering from some mental disorders, others argued that he was a normal person, considering the way he requested for food and how he interacted with some of them.

It took the combined team of the police and the fire service more than nine hours to persuade him to come down.

Personnel of the fire service had to use their long ladder and rope to climb the tree to where the boy was dangerously seated and convinced him that nothing would happen to him, before he agreed to come down.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, ACP Azu said at about 7:00 am on Sunday, while he was preparing to go to church, he had a distress call that someone wanted to kill himself on top of a tree at New Takoradi.

He said he had to abandon the church service and organized some personnel from the Rapid Deployment Force of the Ghana Police Service to the scene.

He added that on seeing that the situation was critical, he called for the rescue team from the Ghana National Fire Service and together, they helped to rescue the boy from the tree.

The crowd instantly nick-named the young man “Obama” because of the large number of security personnel who rushed there to ensure his safety.

As soon as he was brought down, the police quickly whisked him into an ambulance.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi