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The menace of the Fulani herdsman

By Ghanaian Chronicle
By Ghanaian Chronicle

7/19/2011 4:42:38 PM -

Yesterday, the state-run Daily Graphic published a pathetic story 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 taxi cab 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.

This must be a worrying piece of news. Given the already bad reputation of some of these Fulani herdsmen, The Chronicle is wondering whether something more drastic could not be done to minimise the brutal activities of these herdsmen. For instance, would it be out of place to deport them to their native Chad, Niger or Mali?

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol enjoins nationals to move freely within the sub-region, and to stay in countries other than their own for 90 days without  visa. The idea is to foster good relationships among the various people in the sub-region.

Unfortunately, the 90-day requirement is being abused by other nationals, who on a number of occasions virtually live in other communities without the requisite paper work.

In Ghana, at the moment, there is the perception that hundreds of thousands of other West African nationals are living here without any documentation. In the case of these Fulani herdsmen, there is clear evidence that some have lived here from time immemorial without any piece of paper to show for their presence in this country.

Invariably, a number of them are hired by Ghanaians to take charge of their kraals. This means that the presence of a number of these herdsmen is on the strength of their employment by Ghanaian cattle owners. In matters of these nature, The Chronicle expects the Ghanaian owners to take responsibility for the behaviour of their agents.

We regret the loss of life. It signifies that the menace of the Fulani herdsmen is taking a turn for the worse. We are inviting the authorities to involve the home countries of these herdsmen in finding solutions to their menace.

The Chronicle is aware of a number of meetings held under the auspices of ECOWAS to try and minimise the menace. Unfortunately, evidence emerging, indicates that the problem is far from abating.

Rather, the danger posed by these herdsmen is on the ascendency. We need to take bold decisions as a nation to safeguard our nationals against the menace posed by these herdsmen and their cattle.