To say I am outraged by the lynching of a 90-year-old woman at Kafaba, a village near Salaga, in the Savannah Region is an understatement.
Over the weekend, I was devastated by media reports that indicated that a nonagenarian, Madam Akua Denteh, had been subjected to severe beatings which led to her untimely, disheartening death after a fetish priest in the area had suggested that she was a witch.
I am a tad incensed about this completely obnoxious incident because a fellow woman who should have saved the poor woman from the hands of the riotous crowd rather hit her hard with a piece of block in her dying minutes – a clear case of the popular saying “women are their own worst enemies.”
I condemn in no uncertain terms, the villain act by some members of the community that took place on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in the East Gonja Municipality, and call on the Ghana Police Service to as a matter of urgency move to arrest the perpetrators of the this heinous crime and also ensure the family of Madam Akua Denteh is served justice. My attention has also been drawn to the fact that the police in the area, although have knowledge of the crime, have not been able to effect any arrest in connection with the incident which was witnessed by dozens in the community.
My utter disappointment, however, stems from the reluctance of some opinion leaders and members of the community to assist security officials to apprehend those who engaged in this despicable act that could have been averted by well-meaning members of the community.
One of Albert Einstein’s popular quotes come in handy ―“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
As a woman and a firm believer of human rights, that entails the right to live, as enshrined in Ghana’s constitution, I am saddened and gravely concerned by such brutality and senseless killing because of its tendency to escalate lynching among the youth. No cause can and should justify the death of the innocent woman, who is not only a mother but a grandmother.
I, therefore, through this statement, call on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr James Oppong-Buanuh and the Ghana Police Service to handle this matter with all the urgency it deserves and bring the culprits to book to serve as a deterrent to most Ghanaians who have being indoctrinated to believe that old age is associated with witchcraft.
The lack of pro poor policies of the insensitive Akufo-Addo government may subject women, particularly those who reside in the hinterlands, to abject poverty and leave us in tatters, I unequivocally state that, our dignities still hold, and must be respected and protected at all times.
Old women are not witches; septuagenarians are not devils neither are octogenarians cruel; old women are our mothers who nurtured us to value life and human lives. They should not be attacked under any circumstance.
I entreat all Ghanaians to value and respect women, our mothers, and protect them against aggression or any form of violence meted out to elderly women in the country and beyond.
Maame Efua Sakyi-Aidoo is the Deputy National Women’s Organizer,
National Democratic Congress (NDC).