THIS is the headline the Times gave our front page publication yesterday on the phenomenon of kidnappings – something very alien to the Ghanaian psyche and life, till recently. (See page 16, centre spread left column).
The menace is indeed both troubling and worrying and to quote the President, something which until recently, was virtually unknown to the country.
The President’s assurance that it would dealt with, before it became a feature of society was thus refreshing and hopeful.
Kidnapping is the practice by which human beings are seized-sometimes under very bizarre circumstances, kept or hidden elsewhere, and in the Middle East for example, traded for the release of captured soldiers, prisoners of war, and claims to land or territory.
Elsewhere in the West African Sub-regions, members of wealthy families are seized in exchange of payment of hefty sums of money, after holding the families in suspense, fear and trepidation.
Kidnappers stop at nothing and nobody, and relish in holding people hostage, their health conditions notwithstanding.
It is a practice we heard of in Western movies, read about in books, which brought about the exploits of such men as Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.
We must say sometimes the operation ends in disaster, as happened regrettably to the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in Germany, by the Black September Group. Thus kidnapping has never brought joy in its aftermath.
The Times is not at all enthused, that the menace is creeping steadily, if not already crept, into the peace-loving Ghanaian society. Over and over again the media, both social, print and electronic keep reporting the seizure of people at no given notice, thus putting the whole society in abeyance and at the mercy of the heartless perpetrators from Sekondi-Takoradi to Kumasi, and many other places in the regions, over people; traders, farmers, students, toddlers and the elderly, all become earmarked, with the turn of each day, thus throwing general life out of gear.
The vogue now is fear and insecurity, and the earlier we girded over loins, and did something about it, the better.
In our small way, the Times wishes to caution parents and guardians to advise their wards especially females to avoid enticing offers of expensive communication gadgets, offer of employment in foreign countries, especially, those in the Gulf and avoid lurking around dark and isolated places.
Our girls must be told that those juicy offers of employment and good lives elsewhere would not but end them in servitude, prostitution and sometimes loss of lives.
We again counsel residents to be wary of visitors and strangers who flock into our residential areas and vicinities; they could be dangerous, diabolical and agents of death.
Our heart goes out to all who have fallen victim to these hoodlums, while lending our voice to the President to have the menace nipped in the bud with alacrity, to put the country, the Ghanaian people and all and sundry at ease.
Our security is paramount and we should neither allow these agents of evil to succeed. We hope the Police and all who matter in this endeavour would listen to us!
Truth be told, every Ghanaian life matters, we, therefore, believe that President Akufo-Addo would not relent until the victims are rescued and re-united with their kith and kin and society in general.
We look forward to that momentous day!