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06.08.2004 Regional News

Farmers in Fanteakwa threatens to attack Fulani herdsmen

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Akumesu (E/R), Aug 6, GNA - Farmers along the lower Afram Plains of the Fanteakwa District on Thursday threatened to attack Fulani herdsmen if efforts are not made to get them and their herds out of the area. They said about 30 herds of cattle were destroying their farms and that heavily armed Fulani herdsmen threatened them when they (Farmers) tried to drive away cattle that had invaded their farms.

The farmers who took the decision at a meeting that was attended by 64 farmers and 28 chiefs, Asafoatsemei and Dadematsemei at Akumesu in the Fanteakwa District claimed that the Fulani herdsmen also raped their wives and daughters on their way to market or on their farms.

''We made several reports to the Police but unfortunately no Fulani herdsman has been brought before court or made to pay for the cost of the farms the cattle destroyed."

Therefore, they gave an ultimatum that by August 15 if nothing was done about their grievances, they would take up arms to defend themselves and their property.

Nene Majitey, chief of the Krobo community in the area, said ''in the past aggrieved persons attacked the cattle but now we have realized that some people lead the cattle to the area and so if our anger is directed at those who lead the cattle to the farms the issue would be solved early."

The Assemblyman for Dedeiso, Mr Christopher Narh, called on politicians seeking the votes of the electorate in the Fanteakwa Constituency to help drive away the cattle.

He said when the Fulanis committed murder in the area, the case was pursued and cited the killing of a farmer by a Fulani at Odotom three years ago and another farmer last December at Aburaso as examples.

The Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, pleaded with the people to give him sometime to enable him arrange a meeting with the Ministers of Interior and Defence to solve the problem. He appealed to traditional authorities who gave permission to the Fulani herdsmen to operate in to be ensure that the animals are kept in kraals.

The District Chief Executive for Fanteakwa, Mr Ebenezer Ofoe-Ceaser, said the Government had empowered the district assemblies to ensure that the Fulani herdsmen were disarmed and their cattle confined in kraals. He said the District Veterinary Officer had been asked to quarantine cattle in the area.

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