Kumasi killings: Police inaction worrying – Manhyia calls on Bawumia to act

The Manhyia Palace has condemned the rising spate of the murder of women in the Ashanti Region and called on security agencies to intensify measures to curb the crime.

Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, who seemed unenthused about the trend has called on the Ashanti Regional Police Command and the Chairman of the Police Council, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to intervene.

Health Minister seeks justice for slain 37-year-old nurse

Concerns about the murders heightened when a 37-year-old nurse, Ruth Eshun, was killed sparking a #Justice4RuthEshun campaign on social media.

Ms Eshun was last seen by her colleagues on Monday, February 3, 2020, leaving the Sewua Health Centre, where she worked as a registered community health nurse.

Her lifeless body was later found close to her home. Police are also yet to confirm speculations she had been raped before being killed.

At a town hall meeting in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, which was addressed by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia,  the Bantamahene, who  represented Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, challenged the police hierarchy to solve the security crises.

“So, we want to bring it to the [attention of the] Vice President whiles he is here that, this is what is happening in Kumasi. So, the police should be up and doing on this matter,” Bantamahene Amankwatia VI, appealed.

He further chastised the police for lack of communication and proactive measures to deal with the problem. A situation he described as being at variance with best practices witnessed in advanced countries.

“We are all witnesses to the fact that for three months now, some murders have been going on in Kumasi mysteriously and so far, as we are concerned the police who are responsible for our security haven’t talked about it,” he lamented.

He continued: “We in Kumasi have seen that nothing is being done about it. These mysterious murders started since last year October. We haven’t heard anything from the police. So, we have assumed that they are not doing anything about it. So, once the Vice President is here, we want to bring it to his attention that some mysterious murders have been occurring in Kumasi and it all involves ladies”.

With the streets of Ghana’s second-biggest city clothed in darkness at night, Bantamahene Amankwatia VI bemoaned the murders, which he said also raised concerns about the lack of proper lighting in many places in the region.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, says he is not responsible for the safety of residents in their homes. His comment comes in the wake of the growing insecurity.

‘I am not responsible for your security at home’ – Ashanti Regional Minister fumes

Background of murders in the Ashanti region

Besides the death of the nurse, other murders within the jurisdiction include:

1. In January 2020, a middle-aged woman was allegedly murdered at the Ceder Crescent Hotel at Danyame in Kumasi by her boyfriend, Edwin Awuku, who checked into the hotel with her.

2. The body of a former student of Saint Louis Senior High School, Augustina Tindanzor, was found on January 17, 2020, after she had left home for work and did not return. The 21-year old woman was murdered and her body dumped at Ahenema Kokoben New site.

3. In March 2019, the bodies of two dead women were found near Samad Hotel, closer to the Abrepo old market. The women who were half-naked raised suspicion that they may have been raped before their death.

4. In January 2016, a woman believed to be a commercial sex worker was slain in Kumasi. The deceased, only identified as Vivian, was suspected to have been murdered at dawn at the Appiah Minka Plaza, opposite Alliance Francaise in Nhyiaeso, Kumasi. Some cuts found around her neck indicated that she might have been strangled to death.

The area where the deceased was found is a well-known hub for commercial sex workers in the Ashanti regional capital, so many people were surprised how and why her colleagues did not get wind of her murder.

Some young women who rushed to the scene of the murder upon hearing the story confirmed to the  Today newspaper that she was their colleague sex worker, a mother of two and resident at Suame, a suburb of Kumasi.

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