Mr. Iddrisu Musah Superior, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tamale the Northern Region capital, is on a mission to rescue several teenagers engaged in smoking and selling of marijuana (wee), prostitution and other criminal activities in forest reserves in the metropolis.
Speaking in an interview with the media, Mr. Musah Superior expressed shock at the phenomenon. He said since he assumed office, he had had restless nights as he goes undercover to get a firsthand experience of the activities at the forest where he discovered that boys and girls between the ages of eight and ten, who are supposed to be in school, are engaged in brisk businesses – like selling of sachet water in the midst of “wee” smokers, turning the forest into a community on its own. Also activities such as trading in stolen items such as motorbikes, bicycles, laptops, mobile phones, and other appliances are common.
He stressed that although reprehensible activities in the forest reserves are known to most chiefs, opinion leaders and previous city authorities, nothing has been done about it.
The MCE observed that danger would befall Tamale if immediate steps were not taken to save most of the young people in the Metropolis from self-destruction, blaming the situation on a lack of parental control as similar activities happen at various lorry stations, the football fields, gardens and other obscure places in the city.
Mr. Iddrisu Superior has currently formed a combined team comprising representatives from the military, police and the Tamale Metropolitan Task-force to arrest all the squatters in the forests.
“From my interactions with them I have realized that genuinely some of them want to do great things for themselves but they are engaged in what they are doing because their parents could not afford their school fees and they are now school dropouts, and we are going to support them,” he said.
The MCE hinted that his administration had prepared a comprehensive support package for those who want to go back to school. He is complementing his efforts with a media campaign and hopes to clear the forest reserves at Aboabo and Gumani of the wayward youth by October 9, 2017.