General News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
A viral video of four teenage boys gang-raping a young girl has sparked outrage on social media with many Ghanaians calling for the perpetrators to be jailed.
However, Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs is strongly against an imprisonment of the teenage boys who according to him “may be worse off.”
He attributed the formidable action by the Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) boys to “broken homes” and poor parental guidance by ‘careless’ guardians who do not actively involve themselves in the proper upbringing of their wards.
He said, “You ask yourself if they have parental care. Sometimes these kids may be coming from broken homes and even indiscipline homes where father and mother do not even show maturity in front of their kids. So the kids then go wayward because they do not have a sense of direction.”
Allotey Jacobs further mentioned that the schools could also be a factor of waywardness of students because of the type of company they keep.
Recounting his personal experience, he said, “I have been in that situation before.”
He added that peer pressure forces most students who spend most of their day with their colleagues, to join bad company, form gangs and, thereby act above the law.
He continued, “We form a group or gang even in the classroom. We are untouchable, invisible. What we say is final. Also, whenever there is chaos in the class and the teacher comes in, the whole class is punished including the innocent ones thus you are forced to join us.”
The police have arrested three of the four teenage boys suspected to be the ones caught on tape sexually assaulting the girl who is a minor.
Asokwa District Court (one) presided over by his Worship Mr Peter Oppong Boahen has remanded the three suspected Bantama rapists into custody.
They are to reappear before court tomorrow December 20, 2017 for a definite hearing.
Chairman Allotey, expressing his disagreement over the arrest of the suspected rapists on Adom FM, said he was against their imprisonment because they are under age and they may end up becoming hardened criminals or worse off in the future.
The victim is currently in the care of the police undergoing psychological counselling but Allotey argued that the suspected rapists also needed help through rehabilitation.
According to him, “Jailing these boys will only make them worse off and hardened criminals. Both the girl (victim) and the boys need to be sent to a rehabilitation center where they will be attended to by Social Workers who will then counsel them.”
To him, society’s involvement in proper counselling will minimize such immoral acts amongst the young ones.