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Alleged Ritual Killing of Ghanaian School Boy “national security threat”: Catholic Bishops

Picture of Ishmael Mensah Abdallah who was murdered on April 3.

The alleged ritual killing of an 11-year-old boy in Kasoa town within the Archdiocese of Cape Coast presents a threat to the national security of Ghana, Catholic Bishops in the West African nation have said.

In their Thursday, April 8 statement obtained by ACI Africa, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) condemn the “horrid action” of two teenagers who reportedly lured the boy to his death.

On April 3, two teenage boys aged 16 and 17, lured Ishmael Mensah Abdallah from his home to a nearby uncompleted building and killed him after a fetish priestess encouraged them to bring to her a human body as well as GH¢ 5,000 (863USD) in exchange for riches. 

“It is important for us to see these developments as a national security threat and act speedily to deal with this threat,” GCBC say.

They add, “The horrid action of these teenagers should serve as a wake-up call for us to find out what has gone wrong with us as individuals, as a people, as a nation and why we are where we are today.”

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“Perhaps, we have lost our moral compass as individuals, a people and a nation,” the Catholic Church leaders in Ghana say in their collective statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh of Tamale Archdiocese. 

Expressing concern that the teenagers’ actions were “derived from watching some of the audio-visual content on television with the promise to make people wealthy within a short period of time,” GCBC members call on Ghanaian authorities to regulate media content.

“We, therefore, call on all major stakeholders, especially the Regulators of our media space, to clamp down on activities of these fraudulent spiritualists, mallams, pastors and others who through their audio-visual content continue to propagate evils and their 'get-rich-quick' activities on our television stations and social media platforms,” they appeal.  

The Bishops condemn the tendency to celebrate wealth, manifested in adoring the rich without questioning the source of their wealth, equating donations to good leadership, and the belief that money has to be made “by hook or by crook,” and urge Ghanaians “to chart a new path” toward genuine values. 

“It is time for us to begin to chart a new path for ourselves as individuals, as a people and as a nation, if we intend to build a country with people who appreciate the need for hard work, honesty, values, integrity and the desire for genuine acquisition of wealth as opposed to the current situation of thirsting for quick wealth by hook or by crook,” GCBC members say.

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They add that there is need for the people of God in the West African country to “dialogue to have answers to the question, 'what has gone wrong with us?’”

“As we look forward to a possible solution to our current situation, we commend the soul of the young Ishmael Mensah Abdallah to the mercy of God and pray for consolation for the parents and the entire family and for divine guidance on these and many other misguided teenagers in our modern world,” the Catholic Bishops in Ghana say in their April 8 statement.