Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region and its environs on Sunday held a grand vigil for the three missing young ladies that were reported kidnapped last year.
The mammoth vigil was also to highlight what they say is the wave of kidnappings that has hit the twin city.
Although police say only three ladies have been reported missing, residents say at least seven ladies, most of them teenagers, have gone missing since last year.
Hundreds of residents thronged the dark streets, holding lighted objects such as candles and lamps and prayed sporadically to seek the face of God in the impasse.
Organisers of the well-attended vigil, Skyy Media Group, hope to send a firm message to all residents they are stronger together and also to pile pressure on security authorities to fast track efforts to unite Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 18; Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21; and Ruth Love Quayson 18, with their parents.
The unprecedented vigil started with a “walk of prayer”, according to the organisers, through the principal streets of Takoradi, specifically the Market Circle, after which they return to the starting point, the Jubilee Park..
At the park, pastors led rounds of prayers to seek for God’s guidance for the three young ladies.
The well-coordinated vigil as supported by various churches and other groups in the region who joined the event with their members.
Pastors, generally, prayed for the girls, their families and even the kidnappers — believed to be a Nigerian syndicate — asking God to strengthen the girls and care for them wherever they may be.
The girls – from separate families – were taken from various locations in the town last year..
Priscilla Blessing Bentum was the first to be taken in August 2018. The student left home for choir practice but never returned.
Her worried father reported her disappearance to the police 24 hours later. It is now known that she was abducted at Kansaworodo, a suburb of Takoradi, an oil-rich town.
The 18-year-old took a cab ride from her home in Diabene to the Butumagyedu Junction and never returned.
Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 15, was last seen on December 21, 2018. She told her younger siblings she was taking a walk to a nearby town, Nkroful and since then no one has heard from her.
Sunday’s mammoth vigil adds to the mounting pressure on the police and other security agencies to find the young ladies.
Multimedia Group Ltd has launched the campaign #BringBackOurTaadiGirls to force police to prioritise the 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.
Photo: The Gender Minister on last month visited the home of missing Priscilla Mantsebea Koranchie.
Gender and Social Protection miniMinisternthia Morrison, said she has been informed that the missing young ladies are still alive.
Her comments came hours after the Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, disclosed, there is an imminent collaboration between Ghanaian investigators and their counterparts from the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Police say a key suspect in matter, a Nigerian by name Samuel Udoterg Wills, has started opening up after refusing to talk to investigators.
Photo: The key suspect is a 28-year old Nigerian. He broke cells but was later re-arrested after a fierce manhunt.
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.