Most herdsmen and their cattle have, to date, left Agogo in the Asante Akyem area in the Ashanti Region following sustained efforts by ‘Operation Cowleg,’ a combined team of police and military personnel to flush them out.
This was disclosed by the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Asante-Akyem North, Mr Francis Oti-Boateng, in an interview with the Daily Graphic at Agogo on Thursday.
The DCE commended the police and soldiers involved in the ‘Operation Cowleg’ for their efforts and urged them to continue to be steadfast and ensure that the area was peaceful enough to enable farmers in the area to go to their farms without trouble.
He said Agogo was a food basket for the country but noted that confrontations between farmers and herdsmen and their cattle had greatly affected food production in the area.
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Some residents of Agogo who spoke to the Daily Graphic commended the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for initiating moves to have the police and military team brought to the area to drive away the cattle that was destroying their farms.
They also commended the Member of Parliament ( MP) for the area, Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi, who is also a Deputy Minister for Railways Development, the DCE and the chiefs and queen mother of the Agogo Traditional Area.
The residents said the people of Agogo were not against any group or tribe but they were only interested in safeguarding their lives, farms and properties.
They believed that a solution to the impasse would be to find a location for the herdsmen to construct ranches where their cattle would be confined rather than leave the cattle to roam freely and destroy farms and food crops.
What was more worrying, they said, was the number of deaths on both sides, which was needless and could have been avoided.
"So many farmers have died and women raped on their farms and some Fulani herdsmen have died too, but we can’t let this go on; the lawlessness must stop,” they said.
Some of those interviewed wondered how farmers would have to acquire and own lands for their farming activities and yet cattle rearers could roam freely and destroy farms in the process.
On Wednesday, January 10, this year, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, who is also the Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Security Council ( REGSEC), was in Agogo at the head of a REGSEC team to witness activities on the ground following the shooting and injuring of four security men by unknown assailants.
The injured comprised three soldiers and a policeman who were a part of ‘Operation Cowleg’ working in the area.
Consequently, Mr Osei-Mensah assured the people of Agogo of REGCEC’s decision to enforce a Kumasi High Court ruling given in 2012 for herdsmen in the Agogo area to be evacuated.