Bring back our Taadi girls!

#bringbackourtaadigirls missing taadi girls

“Dad! Dad! Dad!” she shouted repeatedly. A father gets a distress call from his daughter. She is agitated. Her father is worried and scared for his child. The phone suddenly goes dead. She has been kidnapped. That was in August 2018.

She is one of a growing number of teenagers and young Ghanaian women to have been kidnapped in Ghana’s Western Region of Takoradi.

Three girls have been named: they are 18-year-old Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 18-year-old Ruth Love Quayson and 21-year-old Priscilla Blessing Bentum. The police say three girls have been kidnapped, Takoradi residents say it is seven.

The disappearances span five months, from August 2018 to the very latest in January 2019. Takoradi, affectionately called ‘Taadi’, is in the Western Region of Ghana. 

The growing concern and parents desperate cries for help have ignited media headlines and the hashtag #BringBackOurTaadiGirls.

There is also a call to Ghana’s police to elevate and prioritise these kidnapping cases with impactful, urgent policing and investigation and return the young women who are daughters, sisters, friends and students with loved ones, dreams and futures to their families.

The Bring Back Our Girls hashtag ignites memories of the Chibok girls of Nigeria. In April 2014, more than 200 girls aged between 16 and 18 were kidnapped and removed from their Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. Their disappearance and the lack of urgency and priority they were given by some in the Nigerian government and law enforcement ignited anger. Parents made multiple appeals for the return of their girls.

The story reached activists and NGOs and the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls appeared across social media. It led to high profile celebrities, including America’s Former First Lady Michelle Obama, pictured holding a board with the hashtag, in a bid to keep the issue in the public domain and force a continued focus on finding them.

With the Chibok girls, so many were kidnapped from one place at one time and there were utter failures by the authorities to sound a national alarm and for the rest of the Continent to respond with equal rage and deploy tools to search and retrieve the girls.

These kidnaps in Takoradi, like those in Nigeria, speak more deeply of societies that do not value their girls; and are slow to respond and reluctant to raise national and global alarms when they disappear.

It is symptomatic of societal norms that trivialize and minimalize the welfare of girls and therefore lose valuable time and do not pay careful enough attention in chasing leads, doing diligent police work, treating their disappearance as urgent and ultimately recovering young women.

Here in Ghana, anger and desperation have turned into protest. 

Relatives of the families and Takoradi residents hit the streets chanting, holding placards and calling on the police to do more, a government to engage the issue and the media to continue to highlight the girls’ disappearance.

Parents have since made moving, tearful appeals for information about the girls. WhatsApp messages with flyers featuring images, names and the ages of the girls are being shared as the public engages in a growing call for action to find the missing girls.

What we do know is that a Nigerian man, Samuel Udoetuk-Wills was arrested in connection with the kidnappings. Clothes from one of the kidnapped girls were found in his hideaway – but no girls have been recovered.

The police claim they have got little co-operation from their suspect; this is despite the clothing that was found.

There has been critique that police – often accused of being inadequately trained and failing to treat issues of violence against young women with suitable seriousness – failed to act swiftly, failed to be proactive, failed to engage the support of the public and failed to use the medium of Ghana’s media to issue calls of help, engagement and support from the public.

Unsurprisingly, the police argue such critique is unfair.

However, if we connect these kidnappings to other cases of violence against women in Ghana and an ongoing history with consistent reports of poor treatment by some police, failure to take reports seriously and act urgently; what emerges is a picture of inaction that leads to culprits escaping and victims and families left to pick up the pieces of lives forever impacted by such violence.

It is a picture that is connected to wider society’s response to girls, women and violence. 

 And it is one that demands our attention and our action.

BRING BACK OUR TAADI GIRLS!

The author, Esther Armah, is an award-winning international journalist who has worked in London, New York and across Africa, a radio host, journalism lecturer, multi-media practitioner and playwright. 

credit: myjoyonline.com

Publish on Apt

Do you have any Social, informational, educational or entertaining stuff that should be featured on www.aptnewsghana.com?

Please submit your stories, pictures, and videos to us via WhatsApp: +233548388489 or click on the icon on your screen. Alternatively, email us: aptnewsghana@gmail.com

RSS APO Group – Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

  • Blitzboks excited to restore pride January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe Blitzboks have not have forgotten the disappointment of a sub-standard performance last week in Hamilton, but stand-in captain Stedman Gans says this has been overshadowed by the excitement of  a new opportunity to be the best team they can be and to play to their potential. Gans will lead the Springbok Sevens team […]
  • ‘Agriculture is the most important business in the world,’ African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina tells students January 29, 2020
    Download logoAfrican Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina reminded students of the important role they have to play in the continent’s economic development, as he was conferred with an honorary doctorate in his homeland. The Doctorate of Science was awarded by the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria, on Tuesday, in honor of Adesina’s […]
  • The NBA is hiring a Marketing Lead, Basketball Africa League (BAL) January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe NBA is hiring a Marketing Lead, Basketball Africa League (BAL). LOCATION:  Dakar, Senegal Position Summary: Reporting directly to the Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations BAL, this critical position will be responsible for building integrated marketing strategies and campaigns for the BAL, with a focus on cross-promotional monetization strategies. This role […]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Benin President Talon January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe below is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:‎ Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Beninese President Patrice Talon in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Pompeo and President Talon discussed regional security cooperation to counter violent extremist threats stemming from the neighboring Sahel.  The Secretary and the President also addressed the importance of shared […]
  • Opening of a Visa Application Centre January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe German Embassy will outsource the application process for Schengen visas in Namibia to a service provider (TLS Group S.A.) with a Visa Application Centre (VAC) based in Windhoek, starting as from 2 March 2020. According to the European Visa Code, Germany represents Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary […]
  • American Next Level Artists and Local Ethiopian Artists perform together at Yared Music School January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa invites media to a grand finale performance by American Next Level artist educators and local artists at the Yared Music School in Addis Ababa on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 3:30pm. The Next Level artists have been holding workshops in Addis Ababa from January 27 to 31. Over […]
  • Alarm over Desert Locusts increases as new generation of the destructive pests starts breeding in Horn of Africa January 29, 2020
    Download logoThe UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today warned that rising numbers of Desert Locusts present an extremely alarming and unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa. According to FAO's latest update on the Desert Locust upsurge, the current situation would be further worsened by new breeding that will […]
  • New study reveals economic toll of malnutrition to the Gambia's economy January 28, 2020
    Download logoThe economy of The Gambia is losing 3.96 billion Gambian Dalasi (US$83 million) a year – about 5.1 percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the effects of child undernutrition, according to a new study released in Banjul today. The multi-agency Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study shows that […]
  • Opening of the First Baking Center™ of West Africa in Cote D’ivoire January 28, 2020
    On Tuesday, 28th of January 2020, Lesaffre inaugurated the Baking Center™ of its subsidiary Lesaffre Ivoire (Lesaffre.ci) in Abidjan in the presence of Mr David Jousselme, Director of the Lesaffre Overseas region and Mr Gilles Huberson Ambassador of France in Ivory Coast. This new Baking Center™, the first of its kind in West Africa, aims […]
  • West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Activity January 28, 2020
    Download logoUrbanization in West Africa is challenging municipalities’ ability to deliver consistent and quality water and sanitation services as well as make improvements toward the water and sanitation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In both Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, millions of people lack access to basic or safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. Furthermore, cities […]
About Editor 578 Articles
Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.