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2000 Petition Parliament over T’adi girls

BY: Dominic Moses Awiah
Mr Bright Kweku Appiah — Executive Director of Child Rights International
Mr Bright Kweku Appiah — Executive Director of Child Rights International

More than 2,000 Ghanaians have petitioned Parliament to invite the appropriate security agencies and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to come and answer questions on how they have managed the case involving the abduction of three Sekondi-Takoradi girls.

The petition, which featured the signatures of all 2,000 petitioners, forms part of an ongoing campaign by Child Rights International (CRI) to mount pressure on the appropriate agencies to act on the case of the three missing girls who have been missing for 11 months.

In a statement addressed to the Daily Graphic, the Executive Director of CRI, Mr Bright Appiah, said the organisation would use every available avenue to ensure that the case involving the three missing girls was given its deserved attention.

"The organisation is presently trying to secure more signatories from Ghanaians and send it to Parliament to demand accountability on the missing girls," the statement said.

Background

The issue surrounding the three missing girls continue to dominate media discussion in Ghana as the police continue their investigation into the matter.

It has been almost 11 months since three girls from Diabene, a town in Sekondi-Takoradi, went missing.

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The first victim, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, at the time a third-year student of the University of Education, Winneba, was reported missing by her parents in August 2019.

On December 4, 2018, the second girl, Ruth Love Quayson, 18, a senior high school graduate, was also reported missing.

The third, Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, a 16-year-old student of Sekondi College (SEKCO), was also reported missing on December 21, 2018.

The missing girls were later confirmed to have been kidnapped after their kidnapper demanded ransom.

A Nigerian, Samuel Udoetuk Wills, 28, who was arrested as a prime suspect, has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for breaking jail.

A second suspect, John Oji, was arrested earlier this month in Togo and has since been put on police remand.

State agencies

The CRI statement expressed disappointment at the state’s failure to provide the necessary social welfare support to the families of the three kidnapped girls.

It said kidnapping cases involving the three missing girls had social responsibility obligations that the state must ensure it happened apart from it being a criminal case.

"Unfortunately, the focus, on the part of the state, has been on the criminal side to the neglect of its social obligations to the family," the statement said.

Making a comparison of the missing girls to that of the Canadian girls, it said the latter was handled well and that the government of the Canadian girls acted on its social obligations to the family.

"The way information flow occured in the case of the missing Canadian girls is what should have happened in the case involving the Takoradi girls. But unfortunately this is not happening, and CRI will not back out until the right thing is done," the statement said.

The statement, therefore, called on Parliament to ensure that the state "took over the social responsibility it owed the families since they are the custodian of the law".

It further said the entire nation was waiting to see how the government would go about the issue following the manner and way the Canadian case was handled.