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General News of Wednesday, 22 September 2021


Story of missing pregnant woman was to direct attention from Takoradi demo - #FixTheCountry convener alleges

#FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor #FixTheCountry convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor

• There have been reports that the story of Josephine Mensah's disappearance could be a hoax

• The woman who was nine months pregnant went missing on September 16 in Takoradi

• She was found in Axim on Tuesday, September 21 with no sign of the pregnancy

Amid reports that the story of a missing 28-year-old pregnant woman could be a hoax, a convenor of #FixTheCountry has stated that the whole story was manufactured to divert public attention off their demonstration staged in Takoradi on Tuesday, September 21.

28-year-old Josephine Panyin Mensah was reported missing on September 16, 2021, while carrying a nine-month-old pregnancy.

She was found at Axim on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, without the baby bump.

Reports have it that she lost the baby when she went into forced labour on the morning she was grabbed by alleged kidnappers.

Following reports of Josephine being found without her baby bump, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, has disclosed that preliminary investigations show the woman was not pregnant when she went missing.

But according to Oliver Barker Vormawor, members of #FixTheCountry who were in Takoradi to prepare ahead of their demonstration staged on Tuesday, had intelligence that the whole story of Josephine was a ploy.

According to the convener of the movement calling for better governance, the intelligence his team picked up was that the story was meant to divert attention from their demonstration.

“When we came to Takoradi, a lot of people told us that this story was planted to misdirect media attention from our demonstration! They said the woman will be found on the day of the demonstration as a way of again refocusing media attention away from the Takoradi demo.

“I said that that was hogwash. I said there is no way our politics can be that sinister. We are better than that.

“To be perfectly honest, I am a bit baffled that people’s predictions came to pass to the T. She was found on the same day of the demo; and now it turns out she was never pregnant,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Barker-Vormawor, who is a lawyer, however, stated that he holds some level of conviction that the story of the missing but found pregnant woman, could be genuine and has thus urged the police to arrest her alleged kidnappers and bring them to book.

“But I still insist that this whole thing is a coincidence and that Ghanaians have just become too cynical. Things are bad in Ghana, but they can’t be that bad. The woman looks visibly shaken! I hope she gets the care she needs! I encourage the Ghana police, who have a hard-won reputation to give the family justice and arrest the perpetrators,” he added.

#FixTheCountry is an advocacy movement that started around March this year. The movement which started on social media developed into a full-blown campaign which saw its first demonstration to drum home their demands, held in Accra on August 4, 2021.

The group, on Tuesday, held its first demonstration outside Accra in Takoradi with the intention of doing same in other cities across the country.

Background of Josephine Mensah’s alleged kidnapping

Josephine was reported to the police as missing on September 16, with later reports indicating that some alleged kidnappers got in touch with her family to demand a ransom for her return.

She was found by a carpenter in Axim on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, and was said to be unable to speak from trauma.

She is reported to have requested for a pen and a paper through which she communicated her ordeal to the people who found her.

According to a carpenter who found her, a traumatized Josephine informed him through writing that she went into forced labour when the kidnappers grabbed her. He further stated that the baby died and was taken away from her.

Her family and security officers were later contacted and she was sent to a health facility at Axim for medical attention.

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