Another mysterious death has rocked the Upper East region just months after a woman was found dead wearing only an underwear as her body hung from a ceiling fan and a schoolboy reportedly had also left a suicide note under his feet as his body dangled from a rope tied to a tree.
In what is the latest shock, the body of a 32-year-old truck pusher at the main lorry station in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, described by his relatives as an orphan, has been found sagging from a shea tree with a rope tied around the neck at Tongo-Beo, a community in the Talensi District.
The horror, which struck in the early hours of Monday, was first discovered by some children who raced home to announce the awful sighting to their parents. In no time, the alarm brought to the scene scores of residents who stood in a solid circle and watched from a cautious distance with many folding their arms and holding their heads in raw awe.
Telephone calls went from the panicky crowd to the Assemblyman for Tongo-Beo, Cletus Anaduko, who in turn and together with the Assemblyman for Zuarungu South, Bismarck Akolgo, drew the attention of the nearby Zuarungu Police Station.
“He used a yellow nylon rope, tied to a branch, to hang himself. He was dead. Even the body was almost decomposing. He was wearing a white Lacoste T-shirt and black trousers. He removed his rubber sandals under the tree and hanged on the tree,” Detective Sergeant Bibiana Bandom told newsmen at the Zuarungu Police Station.
She added: “We (police officers and the crowd) were all standing there. How to bring the body down was a problem. The tree was very tall and nobody wanted to climb. Some were saying, according to their tradition, if they climbed and their bodies touched that dead body, they would have to go and do some purification here and there. We looked for a ladder and, luckily enough, members of his family came- some four men came- and they identified him as Kwame Nyaaba. Two of the men climbed the tree, cut the rope and brought the body down.”
Secret Surrounds Suspected Suicide
Kwame Nyaaba hailed from Bongo and he lived there, whilst pushing trucks at the main lorry station in Bolgatanga for his daily bread, until the day he died.
That he “hailed” from Bongo, “hustled” in Bolga and “hanged” in Talensi is what has now sparked a wave of questions among residents.
Family sources say the porter did not show any sign of death wish and also cannot tell if anything at his workplace- the congested lorry station- may have prompted the suspected suicide.
“Some things are unavoidable and you can’t ask God. He had no mother, no father, no wife, no child. He was living with his grandmother,” Roger Abugre, an extended relative of the porter, told Starr News shortly after the body had been retrieved from the morgue at the Upper East Regional Hospital and buried at Bongo.
“The body was decomposing and, so, we had to bury him immediately. We now are preparing to do the final funeral rites,” Mr. Abugre further disclosed.
Suicide Experts call for Probe
Suicide-watch experts believe there are useful facts behind the ‘unexplained’ horror. The supposed facts, they say, can only be exhumed if those the late Kwame Nyaaba spent his last moments with- particularly at the lorry station- are contacted.
“We need to get the people who might have interacted with him one way or the other to tell us something. Whatever we say now could be a baseless assumption. For every suicide that happens, there is always a reason. The person may be feeling hopeless and concludes that to die is better than to continue in that situation.
“As the days go by, we might get the specifics. What the public needs to know is that when you are depressed, dying is never a solution. Speak to somebody you trust and you would realise that the problem you thought was huge is not huge,” Peter Apuko Awuni, founder of the Apuko Counselling Services, told Starr News.
The truck pusher’s death evokes unpleasant memories of some four notable suicides that shook the region to its core in recent times. In 2014, a middle-aged man climbed a mast on the premises of the Navrongo Police Station and dived to his death despite pleas from a pack of witnesses who, in a desperate bid to dissuade him from that decision, surrounded the towering pole and jointly promised to offer him a cash reward if he came down peacefully.
The following year, a Catholic figure, Brother Sebastian Dery, reportedly took his own life in the mission house at Navrongo. A teacher accused of raping his own pupil allegedly ended it all whilst he was in the cells at the Bolgatanga Police Station in 2015. In April, 2017, a police officer, Constable Peace Agbemafo, was reported dead at Garu after she supposedly opened fire on herself with an AK 47 assault rifle behind closed doors.