Slowly but steadily, an embarrassing wave of abductions is rising in our dear country. The recurring incidents of kidnappings remain a major concern for many Ghanaians as kidnappings were a rare phenomenon in the past.
The first incident occurred between August and December 2018, when three young Ghanaian females, between the ages of 18 and 21 years, were kidnapped at the port city of Takoradi and have not been found till date.
Then in April this year, an Indian businessman was also kidnapped in Kumasi, and even though he was rescued, police were unable to arrest the kidnappers. In the same April of this year, an Estonian diplomat in Ghana was kidnapped, but was later rescued in a police raid while the kidnappers fled.
The latest incident, which occurred on June 4, involved two Canadian women – Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20 – both students working as volunteers in Ghana for an international development organisation, Youth Challenge International. They were abducted and taken to an unknown destination by some gun-wielding men.
According to reports, the young women were ambushed on a driveway at Ahodwo-Nhyiaeso near the Royal Gulf Club in Kumasi whilst they were returning from a food joint in an Uber. They were bundled into a Toyota Camry saloon car and whisked away after stepping out of the car to go to their hostel at the Silver Spring Avenue.
Not surprisingly, the Government of Canada’s travel information guide has warned Canadian citizens about travelling to Ghana. A June 5 Tweet warned Canadians that violent crimes, such as robbery and kidnapping, may occur while they are in Ghana. ”Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone or displaying signs of wealth,” the Tweet further warned.
Whichever way one looks at it, the wave of kidnappings and abductions in our dear country is very worrying, to say the least. The police’s handling of the kidnappings has been very poor.
The Finder shares the views of a group calling itself ‘Centre for Defence and Security’ that “the failure of the police to resolve the kidnapping of the three Takoradi girls emboldened the subsequent kidnappings of the Indian national and the Estonian diplomat; and the failure of the police to arrest these kidnappers further emboldened the recent kidnapping of the two Canadian nationals”.
The Finder also agrees with suggestions by the Centre for Defence and Security that “the security agencies must do everything possible to stem the tide of kidnappings in our country. There must be synergy in the security establishment to bridge intelligence lapses and duplications that turn to be unproductive. Additionally, the police must step up patrols in the cities and suburbs to boost presence in both overt and covert manner”.
Everything must be done to restore the confidence of not only Ghanaians, but the world at large and cure the sense of insecurity that is fast creeping into our dear country.