Now That We Know (Part 1)
For the past one year, our national psyche had been plagued with reports of kidnappings and other ‘un-Ghanaian’ crimes.
The case of the ‘Four Takoradi Girls’, (Ruth Abakah, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Ruth Love Quayeson and Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie) has seriously dented our national ego.
Not only that, the kidnapping of an Indian Businessman, Estonian Consular-General and two Canadian ladies (though they were eventually rescued) has also left a deep scar on our national image.
Even worse was the historic ‘We Know Where They Are’ mantra, and the zig-zag statements from our Director of CID, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, who first told the nation in a categorical statement on April 2, 2019, that: “We know where the girls are, they are safe. Very soon they will be brought back home. We don’t want to compromise their safety”.
Then, after a nationwide criticism, including those from her former boss, Bright Oduro, and the current Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, Madam Tiwaa made a U-turn on the whereabouts of the girls by changing her statement to; ‘I was misunderstood’.
In fact, she said her initial statement was a ‘prank’ of a sort, aimed at giving the anxious families hope.
Then, upon further pressure to relinquish her position, the CID boss told the world her resignation was not going to solve the puzzle of the missing girls.
Today, one long year after much back and forth over the disappearance of the ladies, WE NOW KNOW WHERE THEY ARE, thanks to Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, on September 17, 2019 told the nation, via a press conference that, after a thorough DNA test, it had been established that the human remains the police had retrieved from a septic tank on August 2, on a property previously occupied by the key suspect in the case, Nigerian-born Samuel Udoetuk-Wills, were the remains of the missing Ruth Abakah, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Ruth Love Quayson and Priscilla Koranchie.
He said investigations were conclusive that the girls were actually victims of a ‘kidnapping and murdering syndicate’.
At this stage that the matter is partially clarified (though not put to rest), the nagging question is: ‘At what point were they killed?’
THE NEW PUBLISHER wants some specifics here because of fresh revelations that other personalities in government, other than Madam Tiwaa, also stated in public that ‘the girls were alive’.
According to information, as far back as January, 2019, Hon. Cynthia Morrison, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, announced that the girls were not dead, and that they would join their parents in less than no time.
We also know that in June 2019, the Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, Hon. Bryan Acheampong, told the media that the location of the girls was known to the security agencies, and that everything was being done to return them to their families.
While we do not doubt the outcome of the DNA test, we strongly hold the view that the intelligence community in Ghana will ONLY be taken seriously, if they are able to establish the ‘reasonable period’ that the girls were killed.
Were they killed immediately after they were kidnapped, or soon after the public announcements that their location was known?
Over to you, Acting IGP.