People suspected to be engaged in rituals, popularly referred to as ‘Sakawa,’ are alleged to be enticing blind students at the Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region with gifts.
The sakawa boys, according to school authorities, have taken advantage of the visual impairment of the students to lure them with gifts for their rituals.
The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Marhella Narh, who made this revelation in an interview with The Mirror noted that the sakawa boys often jumped over the school’s walls and bolted away when they were accosted by the school authority.
She noted that they frequently sneaked into the school’s compound and dished out gifts to the unsuspecting students without permission and for reasons beyond the understanding of the school authorities.
“There was one incident here where someone came and gave a parcel to one student without anybody’s knowledge. When we opened the parcel, it was a box like a mini-casket and contained a white handkerchief, three cola nuts, cowries and five cedis,” she noted.
This practice, according to the school authorities, has persisted for more than three years now and the authorities are at their wit’s end in dealing with the phenomenon.
In the recent incident, Mrs Narh noted that she received a distress call from her assistant about someone who was dishing out money to only totally blackout blind students.
She said some of the students sensed foul play and informed some teachers who arrested him and handed him over to the police.
The headmistress called on the government to intervene before any of the vulnerable students becomes a victim.
However, some security men who man the school’s security checkpoint and who spoke to The Mirror on condition of anonymity blamed the situation on the lack of prescribed visiting hours.
“Some people visit the school anytime including Mondays with the excuse that they are coming to visit their wards. This has made our work difficult in trying to prevent people with bad intentions from entering the school,” the source said.
The school authorities have also appealed to the Ghana Highway Authority and the Akuapem North District Assembly to construct a speed hump on the road in front of the school to check speeding vehicles.
The headmistress of the school noted that the blind students always found it difficult to cross the road due to speeding vehicles; speed humps are needed before any avoidable accident occurs.