There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the recently reassigned Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, acted unprofessionally towards the investigation of the three kidnapped and brutally murdered Takoradi Girls, as well as in the case involving the controversial Hiplife musician turned rabble-rousing political activist Mr. Kwame Asare-Obeng (aka A-Plus). But there is equally ample evidence indicating that some of the parents and relatives of the slain young women themselves did not follow common sense or conventional procedures that could have enhanced the chances of police investigators’ ability to promptly apprehend the criminal suspects and possibly save the lives of the victims.
So, rather than react self-righteously as if the reassigned CID Chief has been outrageously afforded a New Year’s windfall by Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh, the Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service (IGP), at least as allegedly claimed by the official spokesman for the relatives of the kidnap victims, Mr. Michael Grant, and Nana Adjoa Quayson, described as the sister of one of the kidnap victims, the family members and some of the relatives of the slain young women also need to boldly and honestly step up to the plate, as it were, and shoulder some of the blame; for ultimately, there is, of course, enough blame to go around (See “Takoradi Kidnapped Girls’ Families Kick Against Tiwaa’s Stay in the Police” News Desk – Modernghana.com 1/4/20).
For instance, we learned from the relevant authorities of the GPS, during the course of the investigations, that some of the parents and relatives of the kidnap victims’ very first step towards helping to rescue their daughters was to inadvisably attempt to negotiate with the alleged Nigerian kidnappers, instead of promptly letting personnel of the Takoradi local headquarters of the Ghana Police Service immediately and directly handle the matter. We are further informed on the latter count that, somehow, such a patently unwise decision was taken by the relatives of the kidnap victims because some of these relatives did not trust or have the requisite confidence in the professional integrity of both personnel of the Ghana Police Service and the institution of the police establishment itself.
Well, if the latter information has any iota of validity to it, then it perfectly stands to reason that Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah cannot be solely held responsible and/or accountable for the DNA-confirmed slaying of the kidnap victims. At the worst, the problem is far more systemic and one of poor institutional reputation and the abject lack of credibility on the part of the GPS than it is wholly due to the widely alleged professional incompetence of just one police-woman officer, as the relatives of the victims appear to think.
But, of course, it also did not help that one Dr. Yaw Ohemeng, an apparent relative of the former CID Chief, had written and published a long self-congratulatory apology of a newspaper column vacuously defending Commissioner of Police (COP) Addo-Danquah, largely verging on the personal academic and professional achievements of our protagonist, while also scandalously adumbrating in the same article that the author had been personally given to believe, in strict confidence, that the case of the kidnapped Takoradi Girls, as they had been designated by the media, had been deliberately but purposefully, whatever the latter expression meant, been given a practically convenient and, perhaps, very apt “low-priority” classification.
For the present writer, personally, this was the most seismically scandalous, traumatic and opprobrious and damning message to have allegedly been provided, even in confidence, to a trusted relative by COP Addo-Danquah, who equally scandalously found such an outrageous decision to be worth retailing to the general reading public, and be deemed to be one that was professionally sound. But that Dr. Ohemeng’s apologetic column came in the wake of the kidnapping and lightning-speed rescuing of the three white young Canadian NGO volunteers, was all the more disturbing, if also because it showed the invidiously nihilistic institutional orientation of the Ghana Police Service.
The preceding notwithstanding, the call by the relatives of the Takoradi Girls for the outright dismissal of Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah from the employ of the Ghana Police Service would be tantamount to a kind of gratuitous scapegoating that lamely and irresponsibly ignores the fact that the apparent professional ineptitude of the scapegoat is decidedly and inescapably an institutional problem and not merely an individual exhibition of gross professional incompetence. Besides, Maame Tiwaa has publicly stated that whatever apparently reckless and irresponsible decisions she took vis-à-vis the investigation of the kidnapping of the Takoradi Girls was a collective roundtable decision taken by the top brass at the National Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, rather than the personal decision of the recently reassigned Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York