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We'll create lasting harmony between Agogo farmers and herdsmen — John Mahama

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
 Mr Mahama making polite remarks to Nana Akuoku Sarpong at Agogo
Mr Mahama making polite remarks to Nana Akuoku Sarpong at Agogo

The Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, has promised to address the recurring conflicts between farmers and herdsmen at Agogo in the Ashanti Region.

He said the next NDC administration would construct a permanent ranch in the community to house cattle of the herdsmen, who were mostly Fulanis, to help prevent the destruction that their animals were alleged to be causing to crops.

Mr Mahama said the ranch would be constructed on a 20,000-hectare land that the government would acquire through the help of the local assemblies, the chiefs and the people of the area.

Durbar of chiefs

Making the pledge at a durbar of chiefs and people of Agogo, Mr Mahama said the ranch would be fully serviced and would also include other amenities such as residential facilities for the herdsmen.

"The government will make significant investments to relocate Fulani herdsmen from farming areas.

"We will acquire 10,000 to 20,000 hectares of land and develop it into a full service ranch so that we will permanently solve the issues of conflicts between local farmers and herdsmen," he said.

He was confident that the serviced ranch would help distance the animals from the farmlands, thereby eliminating the perennial conflict between the herdsmen and the local farmers, which sometimes resulted in the destruction of properties and loss of lives.

Former President Mahama also paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the area, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, at his palace at Agogo.

Nana Akuoko Sarpong thanked the former President for the work he did as President between 2012 and 2016 and assured him of his support and that of the people of Agogo.

"I want to bless John and call for grace on his life," he said.

No skirt and blouse

At New Edubiase where Mr Mahama addressed another durbar, he called on the people to desist from voting 'skirt and blouse', which refers to one person voting for different parties in the parliamentary and presidential polls.

The former President said when given the mandate on December 7, he would need a Parliament in which the NDC held a majority of the seats to properly execute his agenda of addressing growing unemployment, revamping business operations and restoring peace, security and harmony among Ghanaians.

He, therefore, appealed to the party's supporters and sympathisers to vote number two on both the presidential and the parliamentary ballot papers for him as President and all NDC parliamentary candidates.