More than 200 days have passed since Priscilla Blessing Bentum (21), Ruth Love Quayson (18) and Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie (16), were kidnapped in Sekondi/Takoradi.
On Sunday, February 3, residents of Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region and its environs held a grand vigil for the three missing young ladies.
The mammoth vigil was also to highlight what they say is the wave of kidnappings that has hit the twin city.
On Monday, March 11, The Daily Graphic carried a front page story headlined “We are Anxious About Our Children, Families of Kidnapped Ladies Declare”.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, some family members of the victims said at the moment the mere mention of the names of the girls, every knock on their doors and every telephone call to them increased their level of anxiety, since they did not even know if the girls were alive.
They said they felt neglected by the state, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the police, since those institutions had kept them in the darkness for long.
The families of the girls have been running from pillar to post seeking the release of their children.
They have made passionate appeals to the government, and the security agencies, but to no avail.
The case took a rather bizarre dimension when at about 6.25 p.m. on December 30, 2018, the only suspect in police custody, a Nigerian, Samuel Udoetuk Wills escaped through one of the ventilation windows of the cell after allegedly using a hacksaw blade to cut the iron rods used to secure the windows. The situation led to a 10-day ultimatum to seven policemen to produce the suspect.
He was, however, recaptured in an uncompleted building at Kansaworodo on January 3, 2019.
As a newspaper, we call on the government not to give up on the ladies. There is hope that they can still be alive.
It is understandable that, the attention of the government and the security agencies is focused on other equally important issues. That we appreciate. Notwithstanding, we also urge the government to commit itself totally to locating the where about of the kidnapped girls.
Their families have suffered enough and bringing closure to this issue, will help them move on with their lives.