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The Fulani 'menace' — How do we deal with it?

BY: Daily Graphic

In September, 2011, there were reports in the media of the death of a retired Pharmacist, one Kwame Awuah, who was allegedly killed by some unidentified Fulani herdsmen at Agogo in the Asante-Akim North Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

Two other persons, Kofi Emmanuel and one Joshua, were also said to be on admission at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital after they were allegedly attacked by the herdsmen.

Following this, the residents, clad in red, took to the streets to protest against the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen in the area.

 

Residents said that they could no longer tolerate the atrocities of the herdsmen and, in a petition, gave the Ashanti Regional Security Council 30 days to evacuate the alien herdsmen and their cattle or else they would declare war on the Agogo Traditional Council.

Ultimatum

In response to the said petition, the National Security gave the Fulani herdsmen operating in the Agogo area 14 days, beginning October 24, 2011, to leave with their cattle or face forced eviction.

The decision, according to reports, was taken to restore peace in the area, following various acts of lawlessness allegedly perpetrated by the herdsmen.

Another death recorded

In July of the same year, the Daily Graphic published a report of a  57-year-old farmer, who was trampled to death by a herd of cattle, allegedly on the orders of their herdsmen.

The unfortunate victim was travelling in a taxicab from Begoro to Obuoho in the Fanteakwa District of the Eastern Region, when they discovered that a herd of cattle had taken over the main road. Unfortunately for the driver and his passengers, the cab hit one of the cows.

This was said to have angered the two Fulani herdsmen in charge of the cattle. Mahamadou Sambo, 35, and Osumanu Bawa, 30, were said to have 'spoken' to the cattle. The bulls got charged and pushed the passengers around with their horns and started to trample on them.

The driver and the other passengers managed to run away. Unfortunately, Mr Robert Kwasi Owusu could not free himself from the rampaging bulls. The bulls trampled upon him until he gave up the ghost.

Fight continues

Five years down the lane, the residents of Agogo are still demanding the ejection of the Fulani herdsmen from the area.

According to them, the herdsmen are destroying their farms with their cattle. They have also accused the herdsmen of raping their women and murdering any individual who questions them on their activities.

The youth in the area have also threatened to not allow the paramount chief to celebrate his 40th anniversary as the Omanhene of the area if measures are not taken to resolve the crisis.

Their demand worsened after a farmer, David Atiah, 25, and another person who is yet to be identified were said to have been shot dead at close range by a Fulani herdsman following brief exchanges.

Atiah was reportedly workng on his groundnut farm in the afternoon when he was allegedly shot by the Fulani who was tending a herd of cattle.

The Fulani herdsman was also purportedly shot in the thigh by a native of Agogo in retaliation, but he survived the gun attack and is responding to treatment, according to an anonymous police source.

Although the security agencies have moved in to restore peace in the area, the issue has generated a public debate with some Ghanaians asking the government to sack the herdsmen.

We, therefore, ask, how the Fulani “menace”, can be brought under control in order to bring a lasting peace in the area.