14.04.2005 General News

I Pray That You Die -Father to Daughter

14.04.2005 LISTEN
By The Independent

In a rather wacky twist of events after The Independent last Tuesday, Mabel Acquah, the 14-year-old girl with a tumor she has carried for about five years because of her parent's religious beliefs, has released yet another bolt from the blue.

She disclosed to this reporter late Tuesday evening at a secretly arranged meeting that ever since The Independent begun making enquiries about her condition two weeks ago she has known no peace, culminating in her father, Mr Mathias Acquah saying to her that he prays she dies if she goes through surgery.

With Brother Acquah, as her father is popularly known, leading the heat in the last two weeks, Mabel's life has been a living hell with constant insults from the whole family. At the interview, which had to be interpreted from Twi to English for this reporter, Mabel said that they would blame her for creating difficulties for the Jesus Christ Apostolic Faith Church. She also said that last Sunday her mother burned all her clothes except what she was wearing, telling the girl that it might prevent her from running around in the area "and create trouble". Worst of all though, was Brother Acquah, who lately has seen himself and his beloved church in a not so flattering media storm, which he clearly holds his daughter responsible of.

"My father says that he prays that I will die if I get an operation," Mabel said, not reveling any emotions at all.

During the interview Mabel behaved in a surprising matter-of-fact way. She willingly answered all questions, but she showed no signs of anger against her father and there was not a flinch of a tear to be seen in her eyes. She simply just said that she is aware that she will die if she doesn't get an operation and that she is willing to leave her family, even if it is forever, in order to have it done.

A drama occurred yesterday when government authorities went o New Weija Accra, to take the 14-year-old Mabel Acquah away from her parents, who will not allow their daughter an operation to remove the fatal tumor growing from the back of her head. When the authorities from the social Welfare Department Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police came to the Acquah house, Mabel was nowhere to be found. It turned out that Mabel's mother, Rebecca Acquah, had tried to hide the girl from the authorities in another house, but goodhearted neighbours denied Rebecca Acquah that pleasure as they revealed the hideout.

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