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Gender, Children and Child Protection Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba has admonished Civil Society Organizations to desist encouraging sensationalism with regards to the issue of the 4-year-old defiled girl.
According to her, there are stipulated policies and processes to be followed in line with the law to ensure that justice is achieved and is done accurately.
“I want to plead with the civil society to stop sensationalizing issues and demanding instant justice. We must allow the due processes to take their course and as a minister, it is a national issue, we don’t put out fires like this one in a rush”.
She explained that such sensitive issues require critical attention rather than just media hype and sensationalism when the crux of the issues still remain hanging.
“When the incident happened, I was in Dakar, actually on a program concerning ending child marriage and other negative traditional and cultural practices and so I wasn’t in Ghana when it happened, but even if I was in Ghana, I wouldn’t have responded immediately.
It is not the media that governs the country, we govern together and so when there is an issue, the appropriate processes must be put in place.
She accused social media activists particularly for spurring on the issue without providing measurable results.
“On Social media, some various entities want to say that they are doing something about it but what are you doing, you might be accusing the wrong person.”
She maintained that processes are underway to review policies including the children’s act to ensure the attainment of justice in accordance with the law.
“The issue of defilement, in 2015, we had over 1,532 cases reported for girls and 16 for males. It’s one too many, the policies are there in the children’s act 560, 1998, that is why we are going to review them that they come up to speed and the implementation to ensure that indeed justice is found and that the best interest of the child is protected.
Mrs. Otiko Djaba indicated that the issue of defilement goes beyond just an individual to the other numerous defilement cases recorded in the country.
“For me I have to think about all the multitude of all the children in Ghana it is not just about one child, it is about all the other children, so I have to think holistically. That child in Senya Berekum, that child in Assin, that child in the Northern Region, in the Volta Region, children all over Ghana are addressed.”
The victim was allegedly defiled on October 13, 2017 by a 17-year-old man she identified as Kwabena, and has been left struggling for her life. She cannot stand nor walk as a result of the pain.
The village chief to whom the victim’s mother reported the matter, dismissed the woman ruling that the village gods had declared the suspect innocent.
The suspect is currently in police custody and police have also received the medical report on the examination of the victim. Investigations are still ongoing”.
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