Musah Superior to rescue wee-smoking teenagers in Tamale

Accra, Boys and girls as young as eight, nine and 10 years, supposed to be in school, have turned the Tamale forest reserve into their base, engaging in all manner of criminal activities including wee smoking and robbery.

The forest has become a community on its own with several reprehensible activities including wee smoking, prostitution and selling of hard drugs taking place there.

This is an age-old phenomenon known to most chiefs, opinion leaders and city authorities who did little or nothing to prevent the children from being exploited, sometimes, sexually.

Mr Iddrisu Musah Superior, the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), therefore, said he was set to go to the rescue of those teenagers as he launched an operation to free the forest from occupation by October 9, 2017.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, he said he was shocked at the kind of activities being undertaken inside the forests and the large number of children involved.

Most of the children sleep there, drink, eat, defecate and run errands for those persons who serve as their pay masters inside the forest.

They also trade in stolen items such as motorbikes, bicycles, laptops and mobile phones with their syndicated groups in Bolgatanga who also bring stolen items from their ends and sell to their counterparts in Tamale, he said.

He said since his assumption of office he had had restless nights as he went

undercover to identify some major issues and happenings in the city of Tamale, which left much to be desired.

Mr Musah Superior said apart from the forests, some teenagers also engaged in similar activities at night at the lorry stations, the parks and gardens and other obscured places in the city.

He said the Tamale Metropolis would be insecure if immediate steps were not taken to save the young people from that path of self-destruction, as they had been, obviously, without parental control.

Mr Musah Superior said he had personally visited the forests at Aboabo and Gumani to interact with those teenagers and their masters and expressed confidence that something could be done with the collective efforts of chiefs, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to transform them into responsible persons.

He said they had been persuaded to vacate before the October 9 deadline adding that currently a combined team of Military, Police and the Metropolitan Taskforce had been set up to arrest all the forest dwellers after the deadline.

I have also served notices on the various radio stations, Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms as part of my awareness creation.

From my interactions with the dwellers, I have realised that, genuinely, some of them want to do great things for themselves but they are engaged in such activities because their parents could not afford their school fees and they are now school dropouts, he said.

Mr Musah Superior hinted that the Assembly had prepared a comprehensive support package for those who were prepared to leave and go back to school, be it primary, junior or senior high.

He stated that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly was working hand-in-hand with Not in Employment, Apprenticeship or Training (NEAT – Ghana), a Non-Governmental Organisation, to empower those who wanted to learn a trade.

In this regards, the Assembly will fully finance their apprenticeship and training and also secure them jobs so that they would not go back into the forest or the streets for criminal activities, the MCE said.

Source: Ghana News Agency