By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 15, 2016
In the past, I have written diplomatically about the perennial Fulani Menace when I was of the view that our leaders were serious about our national security, especially in the predominantly Akan-populated areas whose residents have suffered a disproportionate brunt of the predatory activities of Fulani herdsmen. I have been particularly enraged by the high spate of destruction of cultivated farmlands and the widely reported sexual assault, largely the unprovoked raping and brutal murdering of our womenfolk on their farms and in the forest, both of which primitive acts in Akan culture constitute the most abominable of crimes against the sanctity of the Earth Goddess-Mother.
Let to me, there would be massive and summary expulsion of these Fulani cattle herdsmen who are also known to routinely indulge in cattle rustling or violent thefts among themselves. These are nomadic people whose cultural values are very different from our own and must be regarded as such. Their generally Darwinian scale of values necessitate that they are not ceded any quarters among us. They belong in the High Savannah and Sahel regions of West Africa and must be strictly contained therein. They have no superior right to burden us with their predatory existence; and the governments of the countries of which they are indigenous must be called upon to take charge of their responsibilities. This is the one aspect of ECOWAS which Ghanaians must not be forced to partake in.
In the past, I have observed the need for ECOWAS governments to confer over the Fulani Menace in order to demarcate “Safe Areas” for these marauders and their livestock to freely range devoid of the sort of carnage and depredation being wreaked upon Ghanaian humanity and, indeed, sedentary or non-nomadic, West Africans at large. The Agogo Menace has been allowed to fester because the most powerful operatives of the present government do not seem to give a hoot, perhaps because their own tribesmen and women or natal localities are not under any imminent threat by Fulani cattle herdsmen and rustlers the way ours are. We need to also clearly define and lay down strict rules of conduct for any group of Fulani herdsmen desirous of taking abode among us, such as being accompanied by their womenfolk.
Now, those chiefs who have reportedly been striking deals with or offering concessions to these human plagues, without due consultations with their people or putting the interests of their people first and foremost, must desist from such reckless and irresponsible practices forthwith. Failure to hearken to the needs and concerns of their people ought to earn these chiefs summary destoolment or even considerable time behind bars. In the case of Agogo, for instance, we have been told that some of these Fulani herdsmen have signed a 50-year residential contract with the local rulers. If such information has validity, then what needs to be done is to have the various regional houses of chiefs revisit these contracts and where feasible renegotiate the terms of the same or even summarily abrogate them, if these Fulani herdsmen are found not to have abided by the terms of these contractual pacts.
Even more significantly, absolutely no contracts with Fulani herdsmen ought to be allowed to be ratified without the express approval of the relevant regional houses of chiefs. To be certain, the most appropriate way to go at it is to have the National House of Chiefs take up the matter and codify any dealings that any traditional rulers may decide to contract with the Fulani herdsmen.
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