NGO condemns lynching of woman at Tindongo

Otiko Djaba, Minister of Gender,Children and Social Protection

Otiko Djaba, Minister of Gender,Children and Social Protection

HelpAge Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has condemned the lynching of Yenboka Keena, a 67-year-old woman, who was stoned to death, at Tindongo in the Upper East Region, on the suspicion of being a witch on May 29, this year.

The NGO said the little attention given to the gruesome murder of the woman, which coincidentally happened on the day Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was lynched, by  politicians, “exposes our hypocrisy towards issues of rights of older people.”

A statement issued to mark the United Nations’ World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which was observed yesterday, said many more elderly people across the country have suffered similar inhumane treatment, which were not pursued by the state.

The day is set aside to voice the world’s opposition to the abuse of elderly people because their rights, like any other group, are guaranteed and based on legal, moral ethical and religious principles.

“Many of these inhumane treatments meted out to vulnerable older people are never pursued by responsible state institutions to their logical legal conclusions and perpetrators are left to walk free,” the statement, copied The Ghanaian Times, in Accra, stated.

In the case of the murdered woman, the NGO said it was “silently observing the outcome of police investigations on the issue,” to ensure that justice was duly served.

The NGO reminded Ghanaians that Article 37 (2) (b)of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana enjoins the state to play  a lead role in protecting all manner of people and that it was “time to regard our older people also as holders of rights.”

According to HelpAge, very few older people, especially women, who escaped death in the hands of such “heartless family and community members,” muster the courage to report their predicaments for redress mainly due to poverty, illiteracy and ignorance.

The NGO urged the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to speed up the process of drafting the National Older People Bill, to improve the well-being of older people, and the protection and promotion of their rights, and also give legal backing for the establishment of the National Council on Ageing.

HelpAge additionally asked stakeholders in the promotion and protection of rights, to educate members of the society to appreciate the consequences of their actions, enforce appropriate legal provisions in the statute books against abuse of the elderly and improve access to legal aid services to victims.

 

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