Agogo herdsmen signed 50-years tenancy agreement in 1997
The herdsmen in Agogo in the Ashanti Region have fled the area despite having 21 more years left to stay on a disputed Agogo land.
According to Nana Boakye Yiadom of the Agogo Traditional Council, a 50-year tenancy agreement was signed between the Council and few members from the Fulani ethnic group in 1997.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Ghana Connect programme, Nana Yiadom said the herdsmen were accepted into community and provided with a specific landscape on which they can rear their cattle with the hope of boosting the meat industry.
After 29 years into the tenancy agreement, Yiadom said the herdsmen have breached agreement and have strayed into areas they were not supposed to go and must therefore leave the area.
He said since 2001 the herdsmen began violating portions of the agreement but the phenomenon escalated in 2011.
His comments follow the killing of a 27-year-old man in Agogo by a herdsman which has triggered yet another conundrum of violence with the herdsmen and their cattle on one side and the native farmers, residents of Agogo, security personnel and the media on another.
The herdsmen were also accused of burning to ashes a 25 acre plantain farm belonging to Obeng Kingsley, the Ashanti Region best farmer for 2015.
Mr Obeng shared on Ghana Connect what was a touching story of how his unpaid bank loan; his plantain investment; his hope for the future had gone up in flames just because a herdsman decided to torch his farm.
He contemplated suicide at a point but not anymore except to say the “harm is already done.”
But the herdsmen have dismissed the claim. Ibrahim Abubakar, a herdsman in Shai hills who was in the studio of Joy FM said no herdsman will set a farm ablaze.
He said the herdsmen have also suffered many casualties with as many as 20 of his colleagues shot and killed by residents.
He said since the new incident broke, six of their cattle have gone missing and their people driven away from their settlements.
The President of the National President of Fulani in Ghana, Prof Osman Bari condemned the stereotypical comments against members from the Fulani ethnic group.
Contributing to the tenancy agreement Prof Osman said contrary to claims that the herdsmen breached the agreement, he said some of the farmers encroached on the spaces given to them under the agreement.
He called for dialogue to resolve the impasse.