Students of the Ho Polytechnic, particularly the females, are currently living in fear as they have become the prime targets of rape, assault and robbery by criminals.
During the last academic year, students complained of over 50 attacks on their roads, hostels and vicinity around the polytechnic. Both male and female students had their fare share of attacks; the males were stabbed and females, raped.
During the second semester o the last academic year, five females were raped, with most of them happening between the Central Hostel and the GETFund Hostel which is quite a distance from the main campus.
Information gathered indicated that, a rape victim from last semester was yet to return to campus due to trauma.
Before classes could begin for the first semester of this academic year, a third-year marketing student of the school was attacked and raped by two criminals. The incident, being the latest, happened last Tuesday night between 8:00pm and 8:30pm just behind the GETFund Hostel, near VORADEP Village.
This brings the number of raped female students to six.
According to students who pleaded anonymity, the student was in the company of some friends in the hostel and decided to get some items from a shop a few meters away. As soon as she got on the street behind the hostel, two guys from nowhere hit her from behind, sending her to the ground. They dragged her into a hut in a farm by the street. The knife and gun-wielding goons took her mobile phone and money. They also stripped her and raped her in turns at gunpoint. She then returned to the hostel in dirt, tears and bleeding.
The case was reported to the police who gave her a medical form to attend the municipal hospital where she was admitted and later taken home by her parents.
the crime scene was totally dark at night when visited, although there were streetlights. Interestingly, the streetlights which had been off for over a month miraculously came on last Friday night, three days after the incident.
Apparently, they had been off for over a month. Other danger spots where students had been attacked had untarred roads, inadequate or no streetlights and were bushy. Unfortunately for the students however, most of these roads were their only alternative.
The SRC president, George Egeh, appealed to the school administration and the municipal assembly to liaise in providing streetlights all over the campus and its surroundings. He also appealed to the police to detail their men to some danger spots which were noted for such attacks. He also called for public support to provide a police post within the polytechnic or its immediate vicinity.
The registrar, David Dzontoh, also conceded that students had suffered a lot of attacks since last academic year and noted that a lot of measures had been put in place to improve security within and around the polytechnic. However, it appeared more needed to be done, he added, commiserating with the victim and her family and assured that more was going to be done to keep the students safe.
He also advised students never to walk alone at night but in groups and also be wary of strangers around the campus and report such people to the school’s security for further action.
When the municipal police commander, Samuel Owusu Berko, was contacted, he confirmed the incidents and noted that patrols had been improved and more men had been deployed especially to the polytechnic area through to VORADEP Village and the SSNIT Flats area. He however said, “All the men cannot be at all the places at the same time.”
He expressed his sympathies to the victims, adding that they would do everything in their power to arrest the situation. He also lamented about the indiscriminate sabotage of streetlights in parts of the municipality, particularly between SSNIT Flats and VORADEP Village, Ho Poly (between Central Hostel and GETFund Hostel) and the Flat Junction Road through to Ring Road. Others are the Nurses Training and Medical Village area.
He warned the public to desist from such an act as it posed a security threat in the municipality. Credit: Fred Duodu, Ho