According to him, the missing girls have not been forgotten and assured their families that the various security agencies are treating the matter with much importance.

Residents in Takoradi have been tense in recent months following the kidnapping of seven teenage girls.

The Police has so far managed to arrest the suspect, identified as Nigerian national Samuel Wilson Udoterg, but have not been able to extract much from him. 

Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery
Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery

The suspect has so far refused to disclose the whereabouts of the missing girls despite several attempts by the Police to make him talk.

The Minister said the complex nature of laws governing citizens’ privacy is hindering police investigations.

“On the missing girls, the police are on top of the matter. It will come to a time that as a country we take some decisions as to what we want, our privacy [issues]. We should be able to use technology to track where a person is calling from but are we prepared to give up our privacy?” Mr. Dery told journalists.

“Then we can listen into some of the conversations that will help us arrest the culprits. As a nation, while we are working hard at this, we are bringing in whatever support we can get from outside because we are talking about our girls. They are the future. Yes, it is very painful exercise for us. We are very hopeful that none of them have been killed.”

The count on kidnapped teenage girls in Takoradi is currently at seven, with parents of the victims embarking on numerous protests over the Police’s slow pace in dealing with the issue.

There have also been criticisms from civil society groups, gender activists and some lawyers on how the Police has so far handled the cases.