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Editorial | Nov 1, 2011

The Fulanis Again!

By Daily Guide

The furore about Fulani herdsmen in Agogo, their reported causing of fear and panic among residents, against the backdrop of the ultimatum issued by the National Security Council ordering them to leave the place, expectedly, made the headlines.

It is a subject about which we commented earlier, calling on the authorities to intervene appropriately before the matter gets out of hand. It appears we are inching towards that unfortunate and unwanted destination.

Perhaps, if we had done adequate appreciation of the burgeoning trouble, we would not have reached the disturbing situation we are in now.

Distressed residents have vowed to protect themselves by driving the aliens away. It is an unfortunate path to take given the fact that appropriate state institutions exist to manage such challenges.

Taking the law into our own hands constitutes a breach which does not help us to maintain the civility, setting us apart from the constituents of the animal kingdom.

Be that as it may, to forestall the aforementioned situation, such state institutions should also perform their role as expected of them and in a manner which obviates the recourse to usurping the powers of the police.

We understand the frustration of the residents of Agogo but would plead with them to hold on for a while as the National Security Council deals with the obvious national security threat.

In the light of the foregone, our attention has been drawn to a misleading disclosure which seeks to present the herdsmen as bona fide Ghanaians. That is a blatant lie with no foundation whatsoever.

Fulanis, who were born in Ghana and those especially in residence at the time we attained independence, are qualified citizens of this country as their forebears migrated to the Gold Coast from Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and even Mali.

Such herdsmen are not and, we repeat, not Ghanaians and those who seek to present them as such are only throwing dust into our eyes.

These men who, by their nomadic nature, are able to trek with their cattle from Sokoto to the lush vegetation of Agogo, Techiman and even Northern Region, take advantage of the country's porous borders.

Like other nationals whose ancestors migrated to the Gold Coast and even Ghana lately, their offspring are, by law, citizens but not randy herdsmen for whom raping is a norm, not an aberration.

We must send a message to these marauding herdsmen that we have a country to protect. We are supportive of the ultimatum, given the herdsmen in Agogo and ask that this be extended to other parts of the country where their presence is not in our national interest.

For those of them arrested for highway robbery, the full rigours of the law should be applied without favour. Our porous borders notwithstanding, some of us know who Ghanaians are.

There is no country in the world where anybody can just walk in and claim her citizenship. Ours is a country of laws which should be respected.

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