Child Rights International (CRI) has urged the government not to neglect the families of the missing Takoradi girls but rather come out with a maintenance and rehabilitation programme for them.

The Executive Director of CRI, Bright Kwaku Appiah, in a statement, commended President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for assuring the families of government’s commitment to help unite them and their missing children.

He, however, stressed the need for the state to prioritise providing the relevant support to the affected families.

In a statement issued by CRI, Mr. Appiah said the state owed it a duty to provide support services to the affected parents. He said the president’s statement was timely but it only focused on the information about the whereabouts and not the support to the families of the girls.

“The President’s statement on the missing girls during his tour of the Western Region tackled the aspect of information flow but one thing that was not tackled is that the families require some maintenance and rehabilitation programme, which must be provided for by the welfare services,” the statement said.

Speaking at a gathering at Bawdie-Dompim in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo, said the government was not sleeping over the issue.

He assured the affected families and the nation that the security agencies were working with all seriousness, albeit on the quiet, to bring back the missing girls to their families.

“We are not sleeping on the three missing young women. It is important to note that those involved are wicked and crafty people and the team is working to rescue them,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The President’s statement comes almost a year after three girls from Sekondi-Takoradi went missing.

The first victim, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, was kidnapped at Kansaworodo on August 17, 2018; Ruth Love Quayson, 18, was kidnapped at the Butumegyabu (BU) Junction in Takoradi, on December 4, last year; and Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie,15, a first-year student of the Sekondi College (SEKCO) who resided at West Fijai with her parents, was kidnapped at a location near the Nkroful Junction on December 4, last year.

In all the three cases, the police established that the kidnapper struck acquaintances with the victims for some time before moving into action.

The police said the kidnapper contacted the victims several times through the mobile phone. He promised the first and the second victims jobs, while he promised the third victim a mobile phone.

A day after the third victim was kidnapped, the police, through intensive investigations, arrested Samuel Udoetuk Wills, a 28-year-old Nigerian, from his hideout on the outskirts of Kansaworodo.

Regular update needed

The statement from CRI called on the security agencies handling the case involving the three missing girls to provide periodic update regarding the handling of the investigation.

Mr. Appiah said it was the responsibility of the Police Service to regularly provide update on the case and not to let the public and the family raise concerns before they do.

“The statement made by the President is in the right direction and this is what the security agencies should be doing regularly. As an organisation, we will hold the President to his words and expect the security agencies to conduct themselves in the manner that goes with the president’s statement.