I have a very simple question for everyone. How would you feel, if you live as a Land Lord in your house and you are constantly attacked by a tenant who is “perching” in your house?
Well, I find it prudent to equate the above situation to the presence of Fulani herdsmen in Asante Akyem Agogo District of the Ashanti region.
I have been observing with keen interest for some time now how these nomads comfortably move about and do what pleases them especially in Agogo Traditional areas as if they were rather the indigenes of the land.
For about close to three years now, there have been altercations and clashes between the residents of Agogo and Fulani Herdsmen. Clashes between natives and the settler Fulani population have often led to bloodshed, death, rape and destruction of crops and property on either side.
Although a Kumasi High Court in 2012 ordered the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to flash out all cattle in the Agogo Tradional area with the exception of cattle that have been properly confined in a permitted area, the Fulani herdsmen continue to live there.
I can decide to turn a blind eye to the situation since I do not live there nor hail from there, but it is impossible for me to pretend everything is okay. The clash between the Indigenes and nomads is a major threat to our National Security as a country.
The clash has gradually generated tension between the youth of Agogo who on Tuesday 2nd, February released a statement accusing the Traditional Council of Agogo and the Omanhenene of failing to protect the interest of indigenes, as residents suffer constant attacks from the Fulani herdsmen.
This mistrust if not checked can further degenerate into something worse coupled with the already tension or beef they have with Fulani herdsmen. Just this morning, I heard on the news that, there were sporadic shootings from the camp of the nomads, a situation which I find very alarming.
I am therefore appealing to the law enforcement agencies to act fast to guarantee the safety of Ghanaians because whatever happens to any resident of Agogo automatically affects the peace of every Ghanaian, hence the need to give it the necessary attention.
Some of these nomads have been living in Ghana for long, married to some of our women and men, even have children and so by extension, they feel they are equally Ghanaians and therefore have the same liberties like any other Ghanaian to do whatever they want in the country.
This quickly brings to mind the eminent call by the Nduom-led Progressive People’s Party (PPP) to resource and fortify the enterprise of the National Identification Authority. We all know that a proper National Identification System will allow government authorities to appropriately monitor the movements and transactions of every registered citizen.
Implementation of a well engineered National Identification System could help avert some of these things and other related societal crimes through proper screening of aliens who enter the country through unapproved means and tracking capabilities of its citizens. Furthermore, it will clearly let everybody know their place, privileges and boundaries in the country.
I however have a question on what is happening to the court ruling which ordered the eviction of the Fulani Herdsmen from the Agogo-Afram Plains? How did the Fulani men have guns in their possession?
Are the guns needed to protect the cattle? The security agencies must equally see to it that the court ruling is carried out effectively considering the repercussions it could have with only a few more months to our general elections.
Also at ensuring that the remaining legitimate cattle do not infringe on the farms of the Indigenes to ensure peace, there should be proper animal husbandry policies that will regulate the movement of the cattle so that residents of Agogo can live comfortably on their lands without any fear of being attacked.
I believe we can do better than this as a people. Ah! Ah! Ah!
Long live Mother Ghana!
By: Ruth Appiah Osei
University of Nordland, Norway
Source: Ruth Appiah Osei /University of Nordland, Norway/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org