Takoradi girls' saga calls for national mourning – Prof Attafuah

Takoradi girls' saga calls for national mourning – Prof Attafuah
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | george.nyavor@myjoyonline.com
Date: 18-09-2019 Time: 11:09:05:am
Family and friends of the girls wail during a vigil in February this year

Respected Criminologist, Prof Kenneth Attafuah, wants the saga of the four missing girls -- now declared dead -- to trigger a state of national mourning.

“These young women have been plucked, not out of their families and in the hearts of those that they love, but also from the society at large.

“I think it is a moment for national mourning. It is a serious matter we need to take seriously. It is a matter that calls for community healing,” he said Wednesday, on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.

Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah

Photo: Prof. Ken Attafuah is a renowned Criminologist.

Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21; Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 18; Ruth Love Quayson 18, and Ruth Abakah, believed to be in her late teens, went missing from different suburbs of the Western Region capital last year but were recently declared dead.

Related: Prof Attafuah advises Tiwaa to resign

They were declared dead by the police after DNA tests conducted on bones found in a septic tank located at the residence of the key suspect tested positive for their identities.

Police explain that Miss Abakah went missing on July 29, 2018, while the second victim, Priscilla Bentum went missing August 15, 2018; on December 4, 2018, Ruth Love Quayson also went missing. The disappearance of the fourth victim, Priscilla Koranchie was on December 21, 2018. 

All four were victims of a kidnapping ring of Nigerian origin. The key suspected, Samuel Udotek Wills, is in police custody along with two other accomplices.

The news confirming the death of the girls gripped the nation, provoking hot salvo of accusations against the police, especially, but also against some appointees of the government.

Related: 'TiwaaMustGo' trends No.1 on Twitter

Residents of the community where the girls lived – Diabene and Kansaworodo – have threatened to attack Nigerians living there in retaliation.

Submitting his expertise on the matter that has dominated national headlines since the beginning of this year, Prof Attafuah said the public anger over the matter is worth taking seriously.

Related: Takoradi holds mammoth vigil for kidnapped girls

“We have to be careful not to undermine the very fabric of our society. This nation is a nation in grief...These are extremely tragic moments in the history of this country,” the Executive Director of the National Identification (NIA) noted.

Image result for taadi girls vigil

Photo: Residents of the communities where the girls used to live have held many vigils to pressure police to produce the girls

He said the reaction of the youth of the local communities where the girls used to live – like consistent street protests and the use of coarse language directed at some state officials – is telling of the intense public mood generated by the saga of the four girls.

”It is a matter that calls for community healing -- beyond even the family and individual healing and that is what is articulated by the youth. 

”But the reprisal attacks ought to be averted. It is important to acknowledge the potential reality that retaliation is very probable...” he said.

Listen to aspects of Prof Attafuah’s submission on the radio programme in the audio below.