A Non-Governmental Organization, SONGTABA is asking government to register all the women living in witch-camps as beneficiaries of the Livelihood Against Poverty Programme (LEAP).
The erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration established the LEAP as part of its pro-poor programmes.
It was intended to provide stimulus packages to the aged in some selected deprived communities across the country.
The Mahama-Amissah Arthur led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government recently expanded the programme with the launch of the LEAP 1000 project in Tamale.
The expanded programme sought to cover thousands of pregnant women, children under five years and the aged in some selected districts in the three regions of the north.
But the programmes Manager of SONGTABA, Adam Lamnatu has emphasized the need for the LEAP 1000 project to cover all inmates of the alleged witch camps scattered all over the Northern Region.
She made the suggestion in Tamale at a day’s paralegal workshop and judicial support for women alleged of witcraft.
She explained the rationale behind the workshop, “We have done a number of engagements and sensitization as we are forging towards reintegrating the women to their home communities: there are some number of issues that are affecting the process and for that reason we decided to bring institutions that are in the legal framework for each of them to look at their mandate and how they promote women rights.”
“We have brought all these legal institutions and the committee on reintegration and the alleged witches’ network to have interaction so that they can further engage them on how to provide protection for women accused of witchcraft,” Adam Lamnatu added.
According to her, the workshop brought together resource persons from the State Attorney, Legal Aid, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Department of Social Welfare and the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.
Adam Lamnatu said SONGTABA in collaboration with Action-Aid Ghana and government was making inroads in its attempt to disband all of the alleged witch camps in the Northern Region and reintegrate the inmates.
Northern Regional Coordinator of the DOVVSU, ASP Emmanuel Horlatu condemned chiefs’ resolution of domestic violence crimes.
He revealed that a few of domestic abuse crimes recorded in the region were brought to the attention of the police.
ASP Horlatu thus cautioned chiefs against handling crimes beyond traditional settlement.
He called for enough resources to promote effective policing in line with best international standard.
Northern Regional Director of Legal Aid, Lawyer, Issah Mahamudu advised people who have little knowledge on the magnitude of committed crimes to stop bailing suspects.
He further admonished people in the Northern Region to be law abiding.
Lawyer Issah lauded the establishment of the Alternative Dispute Resolution system by Parliament to deal with litigation.
He said the Legal Aid department in the region was under resourced coupled with low salaries for officers providing legal services to hundreds of people.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/Citifmonline.com/Ghana