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General News of Wednesday, 25 April 2018


Parents of Kotobabi tragedy victims break silence

“No one loved my children more than I do. God knows I love them very well, but as a Muslim, I take consolation in the fact that God loves them more… He gave them to me and He has taken them.”

These were the words of Mustapha Issah, father of the three children, who died through insecticide poisoning last Friday at Abavana Down, Kotobabi, a suburb of Accra.

He said, “I have spoken with my wife, and we accept it in good faith just as the Quran has directed and we shall be fine.”

The children, identified as Sultan Mustapha and Alia Mustapha, nine-month-old twin girls and their two-year-old brother, Salia Mustapha, died while receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital when they were rushed there together with their parents for treatment for suffering respiratory challenges.

The father, Mustapha Issah and wife, Muniratu Ibrahim, survived the insecticide poisoning and are doing well.

How it all happened

Narrating how the incident occurred to DAILY GUIDE at their Abavana Down residence, Madam Mary Tanko, sister to Muniratu Ibrahim, said on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, while at her cosmetic shop at New Town, a man (hawker) introduced the dangerous insecticide/fumigant – Topstoxin – to control ants, cockroaches, bedbugs and other insects at home.

Muniratu’s house was infested by bedbugs and so she found the chemical hawker’s explanation convincing.

He directed her to sprinkle the substance in their room and wait for five hours before opening it.

On Thursday morning, Madam Muniratu did as she was directed by the hawker and left for her shop.

“In the evening after they had returned from the shop, they all ate supper and went to bed,” Mary Tanko narrated.

She said around 2am that Friday, Mustapha Issah, woke up first with complaints of severe stomach ache.

After visiting the toilet for an unusual number of times, Mary said Muniratu called her (Mary) on phone for assistance to send Mustapha to the hospital.

“Together with my husband, we rushed Mustapha Issah to Mamobi Polyclinic for medical care and he was treated and discharged around 4am.

Muniratu and her children also suffered the same fate and were rushed to the 37 Military Hospital for treatment, according to Muniratu’s sister.

The children, who were admitted at the Pediatric Emergency Department of the hospital, did not survive the poisoning.

She confirmed that it was at the hospital that they were told the deaths were caused by the substance called organo-phosphate found in the product which is a fumigant.

The substance, also known as AlP, serves as a rodenticide. The grief in the mother was visible as she sobbed when DAILY GUIDE visited her.


Police personnel led by the Nima Divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquah, yesterday visited the family house where the incident occurred for first-hand information.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE after the visit, Chief Superintendent Acquah, said the police gathered details of the hawker from the parents of the deceased.

“We quickly have to investigate the case and get the said hawker arrested, otherwise he may go and sell same substance to another family,” he pointed out.

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