General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Alex Afenyo-Markin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Efutu, has set up a task force against teenage sex and social vices that affect minors in his constituency.
The task force would move round the Efutu Constituency to ensure that by-laws of the Efutu Municipal Assembly meant to protect children and persons below age 18 are implemented and defaulters made to face the law.
To his end, minors spotted in and around gambling centres, beer parlours, or places where minors are forbidden by law from entering would be arrested and sent to their guardians, and operators of such centres brought to book.
“Teenage pregnancy is of a general concern in Efutu and the opinion leaders are worried over the issue. Some persons have decided to impregnate the teenage girls instead of ensuring they are in school and we have to put obstacles in the way of the factors that make it easy for such teenage pregnancies to occur. Sensitisation is key but there are also practical steps we can all take to help solve the challenge and that is one of the things the task force would be looking at,” Afenyo-Markin said.
He continued…“It is sad that although we have laws in this country, we still find minors lurking around gambling centres at night or even hanging out at places meant for adults and engaging in social vices in public. This cannot continue. It is something the people of Efutu are not happy about.
“In law, you cannot punish a teenager who is found at a game or gambling centre meant for adults. It is the game centre operator or the person who has parental guidance of the child that should be penalised.
“Such gambling centres which admit children should be closed down. There are parents who do not even know that their children have rights that protect them from such places. Sensitisation is key and we would be working with all the requisite stakeholders to deal with this anomaly,” the MP added.
Alex Afenyo-Markin stated further that the task force would further work to “rebrand Efutu and make the community more attractive to investors and tourists. It means we would be working against other acts of general indiscipline, including defecating at our beaches when there are alternative places of connivance.”