Terrorism: ‘Turn away non-compliant hotel clients’

Eastern Regional Police Command, DCOP Angwubutuge Awuni has advised hoteliers to drive away customers who refuse to comply with security checks.

Speaking to hotel owners and operators in Koforidua Friday January 22, 2016, DCOP Awuni noted that it is better to lose one client, who refuses screening, than to lose a hotel to a robbery or terror attack.

“I sincerely believe that it is better for me to lose the money that I will get from one client than losing the whole hotel because if the person is a terrorist and enters the hotel and decides to take hostages and kill, I will lose a lot of clients, and, therefore, if anybody refuses security checks, I think it’s best for the hotel owner to allow him go wherever he wants.”

Ghana’s National Security and other security agencies have started putting in place measures to forestall terrorist attacks after the al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) attack on Ghana’s northern neighbor, Burkina Faso, a week ago, in which 29 people died. Mr Awuni told the hoteliers that if happened in Ouagadougou, it can happen in Ghana, too.

The fears of terrorist attacks have also heightened with the presence of two ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay in the country.

Apart from clients, DCOP Awuni said hotel managers should also screen potential employees well before hiring them.

“If you are employing, take time and do a little bit of screening. Employ external institutions to do the screening for us, so, we don’t pay someone to come and create havoc against us. If you are not careful, you will be employing armed robbers to come and be in your hotel.”

The regional hoteliers’ association secretary, Ustaz Yakubu, welcomed the advice, noting that recent terror attacks in the sub-region make security a priority.

“It has come at the right time. All along the sub-region, we have seen Burkina Faso, we have seen Mali, Nigeria, and, so, if police have taken it as a duty because of what has happened in Burkina Faso, who are our next door neighbours, to sensitise us, we appreciate it,” he said.

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