A 70 year old farmer from Kwame Addo in the Asante Akim North section of the Afram Plains had the unforgettable shock of his life when his 40 year old wife was brutally raped by a Fulani herdsman in front of him and their little child.
The Assembly member for Kansanso in the Afram Plains, Opanin Kwadwo Oduro, who briefed the Member of Parliament for Asante Akim North, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, last Friday during the latter’s tour of the area, said the incident happened a month ago.
According to him, the victims were returning to Kwame Danso from a visit to Dawiaso, when the unidentified Fulani man ambushed them, and at gun-point, ordered the woman to un-strap their little child from her back following which he forcibly raped her in their presence.
Consequently, the farming communities in the area have appealed to the government to expel the Fulani herdsmen without delay to avert any further humiliation and loss of lives.
Oduro and the chiefs who were obviously terrified at the herdsmen, said the latter have shot at others and burnt their fields to allow green grasses to sprout up to feed their cattle.
The MP, in responding, said since the advent of the NPP into office, the Asante Akim North District Assembly has spent ¢80 million through the services of the security agencies to deal with the situation, which succeeded in flushing them out.
He disclosed that his ministry’s concern is to equip rural areas with telephones and good roads. To this end, he and that of communications and the mobile service providers, would work to see how best district assemblies could provide rechargeable handsets to be used as communication centres, depending on network coverage.
Baah-Wiredu, who is also the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, cited locations like Kansanso in the Asante Akim section of the Afram Plains and Kwasidoi in Akwapim South where there are some available networks which can be exploited in emergency situations if equipped.
H advocated that rural communities should contribute tokens of their produce like maize, beans, groundnuts or yam to be sold by the district assemblies to generate funds to complement government’s efforts in developing their communities.
He said their first Aid Kits could be stocked and replenished from that, and requested each community delegate two young females to enable the assembly sponsor their training at Agogo Hospital as First Aiders who can administer primary drugs.
This measure, according to him, will replace the property rates at rural communities which may find it more convenient I contributing five tubers of yam than parting with ¢1,000.
On the roads, Baah-Wiredu hinted that a team from Switzerland is due in the country on February 17, which will test rural roads with CONSOLID, a form of chemical.
Another team from South Africa which specialises in converting used tyres into bitumen suitable for rural roads is also expected soon.
The Agogo Area Police Commander ASP Yorkyire, advised the people to report those cultivating Indian Hemp (wee) to the police. He urged those involved to desist from it or face the full rigours of the law if caught.
The warm reception accorded Baah-Wiredu and his entourage which included the DCE at Kansanso, was a paradox in that the NPP campaign team was given a hostile and serer physical beating in the 2000 elections which culminated in injuries and vandalising of vehicles.
As a reciprocal gesture to the visit and words of reconciliation from the minister and DCE, Mr. George Frimpong, the chief and people installed the latter as the Nkosuohene (Development Chief) under the stool name, Togbe Ngoefie.