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20.05.2006 Regional News

Amanase chief appeals for Police assistance

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The chief of Amanase in the Suhum-Kraboa-Coalter of the Eastern Region, Nana Baffour Asare, has appealed for Police assistance to rid the town of miscreants, who are said to be involved in crimes such as drug abuse and gambling.

He said in view of the helplessness of the town folks to check the vices, the solution now lie with inviting the law enforcement authorities to take hold of the situation and flush out the delinquents, so they do not become negative models to children.

This was among the many consensus reached between the chiefs and his elders on one hand and members of the Eastern Regional Multi-Sectoral Committee on the Child on how best the two bodies could help root-out the incidence of truck-pushing among minors in the town, when a meeting at Amanase on Thursday.

The Committee members, who were in the town following complaints made by some observers at the recent turn of the district's People's Assembly forum to have some hand-on experience of the situation, experienced the phenomenon even during the meeting. The incidence of truck-pushing is particularly popular among minors, who indulge in the habit, particularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays (market days), as a way of raising money to meet their basic needs, because of parental neglect.

The fear now was that many of the children, who engage in the 'kaya' trade, as it is popularly called, are also being exposed to illicit drug use and gambling.

According to Nana Asare, earlier efforts aimed at persuading the minors to abandon their trade had proved futile, saying, the only remedial action was to let the law enforcement agencies take control of the situation and assured them of his fullest cooperation. He said the local administration units in the town, such as the Assembly members and the Unit Committee members felt helpless in the face of the situation, stressing that what was needed was a surprise swoop on the miscreants.

Other contributors demanded punishment for fathers, who are in the habit of neglecting their wards, a situation that pushes the children into the practice.

The Eastern Regional Guidance and Counselling Co-ordinator expressed his sadness about a revelation that, some parents even demanded financial support from the minors in maintaining their homes. His said it was the height of irresponsibility for a parent, who was not maintaining his child to be demanding support from the very child he was supposed to be nurturing.

Mr Anthony Dontoh, Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the Department of Children, explained the relevant sections of the Children's Act to the gathering and demanded respect for children's rights. The Regional Director of Women and Development, Miss Jane Kwapong, said negligence of all kinds could not be tolerated and advised the erring parents to revise their attitude immediately towards their wards.