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Danso-Boafo Worried About Ghanaian Youth Killings In The UK


Danso-Boafo Worried About Ghanaian Youth Killings In The UK

Nana Sifa Twum - London

The Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo has expressed grave concern about the rate at which Ghanaian youths were involved in criminal activities in the UK especially in the London.

He has therefore indicated the urgent need for the Mission to collaborate with all stakeholders in the training and development of the Ghanaian youth in the UK to institute pragmatic measures to help reverse the trend as immediate as possible.

The killing of the aspiring professional footballer, Godwin Nii Lawson as the latest Ghanaian teenager to be stabbed in the UK sparked the concerns of Professor Danso-Boafo at a brief interaction with the media during which the High Commissioner called on all to help arrest the situation.

Lawson was killed by a countryman Moise Avorgah. The spate of Ghanaian involvement in the knife culture in the UK either as victims or offenders is alarming. Last year, a Ghanaian teenager Katakyie Addae-Kodua, was among eight teenagers in a gang called the “Smooth Money Makers who were sentenced to between two and four years each for attacking and robbing terrified Tube and bus passengers. Another Ghanaian teenager resident in London, Kobina Essel, just last month was also sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a Matalan Stores Manager.

Two other Ghanaians Duane Owusu, 20, and Randy Osei-Owusu, 17 who were among six accomplices, were also sentenced to eight years and six years respectively.
In July 2009 two teenage Ghanaian brothers residing in the United Kingdom with their parents George Amponsah, 19 and his brother Freddie Amponsah, were jailed for life by a court in London after finding them guilty of the murder of another teenager.

They were part of a gang of six who murdered an innocent army cadet and a model pupil Shaquille Smith, 14.

An endless list of knife and gun crime victims as well as the high number of offenders in the UK who are Ghanaians have hyped the genuine concern of many a Ghanaian and the High Commissioner's called is deemed by the Ghanaian community as timely and welcome.

In the minds of many of the community members, the sudden deaths of some enterprising Ghanaians who fell victim to the knife and gun crime in the UK are still fresh.

The death of a 26-year-old Ghanaian victim who was stabbed in Croydon, south London, while on his way to nearby Mayday Hospital where his wife had given birth and the renowned Medical Doctor, Victoria Anyetei, 56, who was also killed on her driveway in August 2008 are just but a few of the number of victims.

The Ghanaian armature boxer John "King" Abbey, a teenager Frederick Moody stabbed in London in in early 2009, and David Quartey, 22, were all Ghanaians who fell victims to knife crime in London between 2006 and now.

Another Ghanaian Charles Anokye was found guilty of murdering Abbey by a London court.

Prof. Danso-Boafo said he was very much disturbed with these developments which he said tarnished the image of the Ghanaian community in the UK. He advised Ghanaian parents to pay more attention to their childre's welfare and upbringing to ensure they stayed away from criminal activities.

Professor Danso-Boafo stated that teenage years were very delicate periods in a child’s life and that it was the responsibility of parents to put in place strong parental control systems and to monitor the movement of their wards at all times to ensure their safety and well being.

He disclosed that the High Commission planned to hold a Ghanaian youth forum in London during the summer. The forum would provide the youth with the opportunity to interact with colleagues on a single platform to share their experiences and to seek mentorship with established role models.

The High Commissioner said the Ghana High Commission was ready to facilitate mentorship programmes and provide facilities to guide the youth to enable them to lead responsible live style in the UK. He reiterated the importance of education and urged the youth to take their studies seriously and to stay away from deviant behaviour.

Prof. Danso-Boafo recounted that in the recent past another Ghanaian, Kobina Essel was sentenced to life imprisonment, whilst his two other Ghanaian accomplices received various prison terms for their involvement in a murder case last year.

The Ghanaian Envoy expressed the hope that the youth forum and his other regular out reach programmes would link Ghanaian youths with Progressive Ghanaian Associations and other Social Groups who could provide them with advice and counseling.

The High Commissioner advised those youths who are serious with their education and leading a positive life to be guided by what he described as the Ghanaian culture and values, strive to discipline themselves and to behave as good citizens wherever they find themselves."

Source: Nana Sifa Twum - London



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