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The Kidnaping Menace: Is Ghana Losing The War?

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Kidnaping, the act of abducting and confining persons, usually with the motive of demanding ransom, was alien to the Ghanaian sub-culture, until quite recently.

Ever since the country gained independence six decades ago, the most ‘violent’ crimes recorded had bordered largely on robbery, theft, rape, and occasionally, ritual murder.

In fact, never had the national psyche been so plagued with kidnapping, as it is today.

Even though some isolated cases of kidnapping must have been reported some decades back, it became notorious last year, following the abduction of what has become known as the ‘Three Takoradi Girls’, (i.e. Priscilla Blessing Bentum (21), who disappeared on 17th August, 2018; Ruth Love Quayeson (18), who went missing on 4th December, 2018; and Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie (18), who was last seen on 21st December, 2018. All efforts to rescue them have so far proven futile.

What seemed to have muddied the waters was the ‘reckless’ announcement by the Director of CID, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, to the effect that the police knew the whereabouts of the three girls, only for her to make a U-turn on her claims two months later.

This ‘empty’ police assurance, some people believe, must have set in motion the snowball of further kidnappings in the country.

To this school of thought, potential kidnappers have been emboldened, after they had realized from Tiwaa’s mea culpa, that the Criminal Investigations Department was, after all, not in readiness to handle the crisis.

In April, an Indian businessman was abducted at gunpoint in Kumasi and a ransom was demanded. Before that, an Estonian Consular-General was reportedly abducted while out on his morning walk. Both men were either rescued by police, or escaped.

And last Monday, the nation was awakened by news of another security embarrassment. Two Canadian young ladies were abducted in Kumasi.

Not only had the Canadian government dispatched experts to help locate them; it also warned its nationals against travelling to Ghana at this time.

THE NEW PUBLISHER is not happy with the apparent lack of ‘ideas’ about solving the menace anytime soon.

Even though the paper is not throwing its hands in despair, we are worried at the fact that, not only is the list of unsolved cases getting taller by the day, but that foreigners are now being targeted.

While we appreciate the efforts government is making to resource the police, it appears the authorities are not looking at the right direction.

In our view, government seems to be over-focusing on the procurement of vehicles for the police, as against building the capacities of detectives, particularly in intelligence gathering and information dissemination.

Apart from giving Ghana a bad image, the trend can affect international trade, tourism, foreign investment and even bi-lateral relations.

We hereby call on the police to ‘walk the talk’, as Ghanaians are tired of assurances and calls for patience.

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