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Agogo youth ban political activities over Fulani menace

Residents of Agogo in the Asante Akyim North District of the Ashanti Region have banned all political activities and state functions in the town until the Fulani menace is resolved.

The residents are also demanding an “immediate transfer” of the District Police Commander for failing to flush out the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

At a press conference Tuesday, Chairman of the Agogo Youth Association (AYASS), Emmanuel Buabeng said they could not comprehend why no action had been taken after the Kumasi High Court ruled in 2012 that the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle be evacuated.

He asked: “Why are these Fulani herdsmen and their cattle still residing on Agogo lands? Is it lack of political will to carry out the court orders or do the cattle belong to government officials or influential people in Ghana?”

Mr Buabeng also noted that some politicians were “mischievously” taking advantage of the situation, adding that “these have made us foreigners on our own land.”

Hence, he said, the association had resolved to ban all political activities in Agogo as well as boycott all state functions and durbars including the 6th March Independence Day celebration.

Below is the full statement

PRESS RELEASE ON CONTINUOUS INCURSION OF FULANI HERDSMEN ON AGOGO LANDS

Gentlemen of the press

Peaceful and Hardworking citizens of Agogo who farm to feed the nation have become strangers on their own inherited lands.

Ladies and gentlemen:

Once upon a time, people of Ghana know Agogo to be a breeding place for beautiful music, great personalities (IGP and Finance Minister), Schools and food stuffs of all kinds. But now, Agogo has become synonymous with Fulani atrocities. The immeasurable economic loses, many social distress and grief by the malevolent destruction of our farm lands, pollution of water sources, raping of women, the barbaric murder and maiming of several citizens of Agogo by these Fulani herdsmen have shattered the good name Agogo has toiled for over the years.

Ever since the Traditional Leaders stealthily leased of Agogo lands to the herdsmen, about 40 peaceful and hardworking farmers have been murdered in cold blood and countless people maimed while others have been chased out of their farms and villages. Now, fear has engulfed these farmers and as a result can no longer go to their farms as expected. The atrocities of these itinerants have caused single parenting, school drop-outs, handicaps and jobless.

In all these barbaric acts, not a single culprit has been arrested and prosecuted. When a Fulani herdsman is arrested, the next thirty minute, order will come from above for his released. However, Agogo citizen, on mere suspicious and apparent entrapment, have been put behind bars or thrown into the dungeon. As we speak, a citizen of Agogo is languishing in Nsawam Prison as a condemned inmate. The most recent one is the 5 Komkomba farmers who have been put behind bars for allegedly shooting at a Fulani herdsman. We create the indulgence of government through IGP to release these 5 Komkoma farmers.

Even though, the security services have their personnel stationed at Agogo, we, AYAS are yet to see a move that testifies their seriousness to carry out the 2012 court order.

This is because instead of pitching their tents in the villages where the Fulani rape our women, kill our fathers and brothers, burn our crops and buildings, they have been stationed in one of the expensive guest houses in town (Pentecost Hostel) and are fed three square meals from the most expensive restaurant in Agogo (Dollar Days Inn).

Therefore, AYAS can conclude that the security services have repeated their yearly rituals of coming to Agogo during the dry season to shield the Fulani herdsmen but not to flush them out as IGP Kudalor promised. We believe that their presence and continuous stay in Agogo will be a burden on the limited resources of the Asante Akyem

In addition to the above, we AYASS plead with the IGP and the Ashanti Regional Police Command to effect immediate transfer on the District Police Commander of Asante Akim North District, Inspector Agyekum, since he has been corrupted and has not made any effort to help the course of flushing out the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

Gentlemen of the press, all peaceful, legal and amicable ways sought to combat this Fulani issue confronting Agogo lands have been futile. The matter was taken to Kumasi High Court, where judgment was attained in favour of the Farmers on 20th January, 2012. In the same year 2012, the evacuation plan was drawn by the Evacuation Plan Committee under RESEC and made two evacuation proposals, that:

1. The cattle owners shall voluntarily remove the cattle from the Agogo stool land by 31st March, 2012.

2. The security shall use force to flush out the cattle from Agogo stool land if they fail to comply by the first proposal.

Gentlemen of the press, from 2012 till now, THREE YEARS AND ELEVEN MONTH AFTER, practically nothing has been done to effect either the court judgment or the evacuation plans proposed by the Evacuation Plan Committee under RESEC. Why are these Fulani herdsmen and their cattle still residing on Agogo lands? Is it lack of political will to carry out the court orders or do the cattle belong to government officials or influential people in Ghana? There are more questions than answers.

Having consciously and critically analyzed these developments, we the Youth of Agogo “will not sit down aloof and watch things to rot”. With immediate effect, and until action is taken by the Regional Coordinating Council and the District Security Council to flush out the marauding Fulani herdsmen from Agogo lands as instructed by the Kumasi High Court, we uphold all the measures instituted on the 27th January, 2016 press conference and add the following to them:

1. We have realized that the course to flushing out the Fulani herdsmen is becoming political and some politicians are mischievously making ill comment and down-playing the effort of the ring leaders. Therefore, we ban all political activities be it fun fares, campaign or rallies until the last cattle leaves Agogo land.

2. Also, the right to live is been taken gradually from the people of Agogo as well justice. These have made us foreigners on our own land. Hence, the need boycott all state functions and durbars including the 6th March Independence Day Celebration.

We thank you all for your attention and we crave your esteem cooperation in this matter. As the state, our traditional leaders and the security services have not made us trust them and have failed us, the youth will not relent on our peaceful public campaign until the last Fulani and their cattle leave Agogo land.

Yours in the love and interest of Agogo

Agogo Youth Association (AYASS)

…..Signed…..

Emmanuel Buabeng

(Chairman)

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