'Torture home' expos? is a blot on the conscience of the state

Sat, 6 Jul 2019 Source: Alhajj Suleman

I watched with trepidation how children were inhumanely molested in the latest expos? of impeccable Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

This is not the first time Anas has undertaken an investigation to expose child abusers and their abuses. Indeed, one of his finest expos? which drew commendation from the former US president, Obama, was one that exposed an international child trafficking syndicate.

He similarly exposed very chilling activities in the Osu children's home which led to the passage of child's right act. Subsequent to the passage of the act, we ask if the needed changes have occurred.

It appears that our conscience as a country has been eaten away. Orphans and the needy for that matter should have been given special attention considering their extreme vulnerability. In Ghana, if you have no parents or if you're poor, the state doesn't care about you. You are left at the mercy of private individuals some of whom tend to be abusers.

A lot of charlatans parading as philanthropists have taken a cue from government's indifference in this respect to cash in using the vulnerable orphans as smokescreen. They set up orphanages as their harvesting traps. Pretending to be angels, these fake philanthropists, abuse their preys and enrich themselves overnight from cash donations.

How do we take pride in a State that cannot protect its vulnerable citizens? In serious countries, children are considered as treasures. Any country that is not serious about the welfare of its children, is doomed and has no future. Care for a child must be regardless of a child's status - orphan or no orphan. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ghana. Being an orphan in Ghana is almost a curse.

The establishment of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was expected to serve as an impetus to promote children's welfare. Heck, the ministry is either slumbering or wasting energy on matters that do not go to the core of its mandate. The ministry's slumber is evident in the latest expos? of Anas.

Echoing Hills has been operating a child slavery scheme unnoticed for many years. The so-called philanthropic organisation has been a den for child abuse and torture for several years. How come it has survived this scheme for all this while? The answer is as simple as A, B, C - government is inept and careless about children.

I have always known Ghana to be a reactionary country. Politicians only act when public passion and sentiments inflame. Knee jerk reaction has been the method of governments upon governments - in addressing critical issues of national concern. No wonder Ghana's development oscillates at the same point without propelling.

As usual, the government will react and go to sleep after the dust is settled. Superficial and repugnant populist decisions will be taken but no action after one week. Sometimes I call Ghana, 'one-week' country. A country where sentiments last for one week on radio and TV and government's reaction is for one week as well.

As a practising Muslim, I know orphans are so dear to God almighty. In many places in the Qur'an, humanity is duty-bound to take care of orphans and not to be harsh towards them. Orphans are considered legitimate beneficiaries of Zakaat, Islam's fifth pillar. I know Christianity as well as preaches kindness to orphans. Collectively, we must take immediate steps to end the decades of orphan abuse in Ghana.

The heart-rending expos? by Anas is blot on our conscience as a state. Our pretentious religious adherence has been stripped naked by this expos?. I sympathise with the children who were made to eat their own excreta and all the others who suffered aggravated abuse at the hands of Reverend Larry Lamina and his criminal accomplices working under him as caretakers.

God save Ghana!

Columnist: Alhajj Suleman
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