Accra, April 12, GNA – Dr. Leticia Appiah, the Executive Director, National Population Council (NPC), on Monday called for a national dialogue to diagnose the cause of teenage murders across the country in recent times.
“A national discourse will unravel the problems…where we have gone wrong as a nation for children below the ages of 18 to want to be rich at all cost to kill a 10 year old boy,” she said.
Master Ismael Abdallah , a class four pupil of the Maranatha Preparatory and Junior High School, was allegedly killed on Holy Saturday, April 3, by two teenagers, Nicholas Kini, 18, and Felix Nyarko, 16, at Coca Cola, near Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region.
After that incident, a few other reports on teenage murders came up in media discussions.
Dr Appiah, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, called for an urgent intervention to avert such occurrences in the future, describing the developments as a national security threat.
She admonished parents to give birth to a desirable number of children they could take good care of to have a peaceful society devoid of social vices like armed robbery and drug addicts, which posed security threat to the nation.
“Ishmael’s death must not be in vain, it should wake us up from our slumber and help us as a nation to do the needful.
“We should be ‘angry’ enough to wake up and say no, not anymore, no more death like the case of Ishmael. The nation should have a monument to appease his soul for not taking care of him as a society.”
Dr Appiah said parents had to take care of their vulnerable children, stressing, “When these vulnerable children are neglected and they manage to take care of themselves, we should not expect much from them”.
The Executive Director said it was the responsibilities of leaders not to maintain the status quo if it was not serving the interest of society, saying “our responsibility is to confront the status quo, change it if need be for the benefit of the next generation”.
She called for a national discussion on whether to have a small size family or large family that would lead to sustainable development and peaceful existence as well as effective and efficient parenting.
This, she explained tied to population issues because it focused on the function of fertility, education, and peace among others.
“Are we going to have children who are hungry, stressed up to the extent that they will have to visit a spiritualist for money to feed themselves when it is our duty as parents and as nation to take care of them,” she asked.
The Executive Director said, “We need to put the human being as a centre of our socio-economic development and have a discussion around us as to how to have a peaceful life if this is how we are going to manage our population.”