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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Source: GNA

Who should we believe? - Women

Accra, July 15, GNA - A group of women calling itself the concerned women of Ghana on Tuesday demanded an explanation to what they termed contradictory statements made by former President Jerry John Rawlings and the General Secretary of the New Democratic Congress (NDC) Dr Josiah Aryeh on the killings of the 34 women.

"The women of Ghana demand an explanation from the former President, who claimed that the murder of the Ghanaian women were master-minded by people in the current administration, while Josiah Aryeh claimed the dead bodies were imported from Togo.

"They should come out to tell us which is which, we have a right to know the truth because a lie detector test has proven to be not 100 per cent effective."

The women, who were clad in red and black clothes, sang and wept as went through some principal streets to protest against the former President's insistence that he would only name the people, who masterminded the killings when a lie detector test were made available. The women led by Mrs Freda Prempeh, Assemblywoman of the Lako Electoral Area, also expressed dissatisfaction when none of the NDC MPs in the Parliament House was ready to receive their petition at the forecourt of the House.

Some of them were shouting: "But where are the NDC MPs?" "Why didn't they come out to receive our petition?" "Mr Deputy Speaker could you tell us why; because we want them to be here."

Mr Freddy Blay, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who received the their petition on behalf of the Chamber told the women that it was their legitimate right to demonstrate, more especially when it involved the murdering of women.

"You have a cause to raise your voice and we support you and sympathise with you. Definitely, we need to get to the roots of the matter and we agree that all efforts must be made to bring the perpetrators to book. "This country should not harbour murderers and anybody who knows the murderers should come out and mention their names," Mr Blay said. Mr Felix Adjapong, the Majority Leader of the House thanked the women for the peaceful manner in which they conducted the demonstration and promised that the House would treat their petition with the urgency it required.

Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children Affairs, received a copy on behalf the women of Ghana and appealed to them to give the Police time to carry out their investigations. The final copy for the former President did not get to him because Dr Aryeh who was billed to receive it on Former President Rawlings' behalf was not present.

Alhaji Ishmael Saaka, Acting Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, received that of the Former President because Dr Aryeh, who was within the premises, was not readily available at the time.