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General News of Monday, 20 May 2019


Families of kidnapped Takoradi girls abandoned by Social Welfare – Group

The girls have been missing from Takoradi for some months now The girls have been missing from Takoradi for some months now

Child right advocacy group, Child Right International is blaming government and the department of social welfare for failing to provide families of the three kidnapped Takoradi girls with the needed social service support.

The girls, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Ruthlove Quayeson and Priscilla Mantsebeah Koranchie were kidnapped between 17 August and 21 December 2018.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on Monday 20 May, the group says since the incident happen no official of the department of social welfare under the Ministry of Gender and Children Protection visited the families of the girls who are feared dead.

“One aspect that is so critical which is taken for granted has to do with the fact that, in pursuance of criminal cases all over the world, beyond the criminal aspect there is also the social component that needs to be dealt with,” Executive Director of the group Bright Appiah told journalists at the news conference.

But, he said “our visit clearly shows that the state has never provided any social services to the families in terms of how to prepare their minds, how to clinically work on them to understand the matter at stake or the kind of social services that the state can provide for them if they are in the position of need of those services.”

Mr Appiah further observed that no investigation or social enquiry report had been done on the families since the kidnappings “to determine the kind of services that can be provided for them by the state, which also means that social welfare has never visited the families to establish any of these in terms of condition of the families.”

He said, the group’s interaction with the families showed that their state is not the best and that “anything can happen any time.”

Child Right International’s disclosure come on the back of heartrending warning by criminologist Professor Ken Attafuah that the girls may be dead or trafficked out of Ghana.

According to him, there was no reasonable basis to believe that the girls are still alive or in the country.

“…As a criminologist, and as a professional investigator I thought that there was and I pray to God that I’m wrong…but I thought that there was misplaced energy and focus,” he told Bola Ray on Starr Chat.

He added: “If indeed, we have kidnapping on our hands…there’s no reasonable basis to believe that those victims of the kidnappings are still in Ghana or still alive. If they are alive, there’s very little that gives me a basis to believe that they are alive in Ghana. If they are not alive sorry. That’s just awful.”

Meanwhile, Prof Attafuah’s calls have intensified for the beleaguered Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service COP Maame Tiwaa Addo Danquah to be sacked.

The calls for COP Addo Danquah’s sacking followed her U-turn, suggesting that her claim that the CID knew the whereabouts of the three missing Takoradi girls had been misinterpreted.

According to her, the comments were meant to give the families of the girls hope, saying “I have been misconstrued. Maybe people didn’t understand me.”

“I just want to assure everyone that the search is still on. We are not sleeping at all,” COP Addo Danquah told Accra-based Atinka TV marking a sharp contrast from her “we know where the girls are” position in April.

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