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03.02.2016 Headlines

Top State Officials Implicated In Fulani Menace .. . 2 More Shot Dead At Agogo

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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As the question of the ownership of cattle managed by Fulani herdsmen, whose activities have brought untold hardship on our farmers rages on, Togbe Agymang II -Chief of Adaklu-Wumenu in the Adaklu District of the Volta region has revealed that these 'dangerous men' work for top security officers, as well as high ranking government officials.

According to him, the Fulani herdsmen have openly told them (chiefs and people in the area) that they cannot drive them away from the area because majority of the cattle they (Fulani herdsmen) herd belong to top government officials, such as ministers of state and security officers among others.

He said the nomads also bragged that because they are working for these top government officials and security officers in the country, even if they (chiefs and people in the area) arrest them for any wrong doing, they would eventually be freed.

He pointed out that the chiefs and people can no longer guarantee the safety of Fulani herdsmen in the area, following their violent activities, as well as the wanton destruction of crops leading to increasing tension between them and the youth. The Adaklu-Wumenu Chief has, therefore, appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to as a matter of urgency intervene and ensure that the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle are expelled from the area.

He explained that since top government officials and security officers own these cattle, without the intervention of the President, it would be difficult for anyone to attempt to drive the cattle and their managers away from the area.

Addressing a section of the media, the Adaklu-Wumenu Chief noted: “I can tell you that tension in this area of Adaklu is very high, and as chiefs the people we have received and demarcated an area for their activities have now turned against us, as they would not listen to us anymore.

“I am very sure and cannot assure you of the safety of any Fulani herdsman seen around this town, unless he comes to town under police escort,” he stressed.

Explaining further, Togbe Agyemang said the chiefs received the Fulani herdsmen and gave them land for their activities, which was demarcated far away from farming areas, but for some time now, the Fulani herdsmen have refused to operate within their defined area.

To add salt to injury, the Fulani herdsmen have rather decided to deliberately allow their animals to feed on the food crops in peoples' farms. He elucidated that affected farmers have been reporting the harmful activities of these Fulani herdsmen to the chiefs, some of which include instances where the nomads attacked and beat them on their farms and inflicted cutlass wounds on them.

This is when they (the farmers) attempt to prevent their animals from grazing on their farms, but anytime herdsmen to their palaces to have amicable settlement of the cases between them and the farmers, they refuse to show up.

Some famers, who have suffered a great deal of pain from the activities of these Fulani herdsmen, have narrated their ordeal to members of the press to buttress the point being raised by the Adaklu-Wumenu Chief.

Narrating his ordeal, a 56 year old farmer, Mr. Mathew Azameti at Adaklu-Wumenu disclosed that on January 28, 2016, Fulani herdsman attacked him on his farm when he attempted to resist the cattle from grazing on his cassava and maize farm.

He said as he prevented the cattle from grazing on the farm, one of the herdsmen started struggling with him and in the process used a robe to beat him, but realizing that his life was in danger and seeing another herdsman coming to support his friend, he run for his life.

He hinted that to his surprise, the Fulani herdsmen ordered the animals to attack him as he saw the cattle running towards him, but decided to give a warning shot to scare the animals away, as his last resort, before they stopped.

Mr. Azameti continued that he reported the case to the police at Adaklu-Waya, the District capital and a medical form was given to him to visit the clinic at Waya, but he suffered severe pains in the night after the treatment at the clinic, which compelled him to visit the Volta regional hospital the following day.

The medical report on the victim from the Regional hospital, signed by Dr. Diana Donkor, stated that Mr. Azameti suffered from soft tissue injury with musculoskeletal pains, aside a sore he sustained on the left eye with swollen eyes, joint pains and ear pains.

A resident of Adaklu-Manorwoxa, Mr. Thomas Boni, also narrated how Fulani herdsmen attacked him and beat him up when he attempted preventing them from allowing their animals to drink from the only dam that serves four communities, as the only source of good drinking water.

Mr. John Kwawukume, a farmer at Adaklu-Wumenu also narrated how Fulani herdsmen destroyed the 331 acre of maize and only managed to harvest only seven bags of maize from the farm. He said he was able to get the seven bags because he employed private security to protect the farm in the night, as the Fulani herdsmen allowed their cattle to graze in the farm at night.

Meanwhile, all attempts to get the District Chief Executive of the area, Mr. Sky Ganaku to explain how Fulani herdsmen issue are being handled in the District prove futile, as calls made to his cell phone could not go through. In a related development, Issah Alhassan reports from Kumasi that two persons have reportedly lost their lives at Agogo yesterday, after being shot, in what is believed to be another handiwork of Fulani herdsmen operating in the area.

The victims, one of whom has been identified as David Atia, is said to be the son of the Chief of Kuroso Zongo, a community at Agogo. The assailants were also said to have torched the farm of a prominent personality in the Agogo community, after committing the dastardly act.

The Member of Parliament for the Asante Akyem Agogo Constituency, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, who confirmed the sad incident to The Chronicle, said he had dispatched his representative to gather details, though he was informed the District Chief Executive for the area, had also been to the scene of the incident.

The latest killings follow threat issued by residents of the Agogo community, led by the MP to declare war on the nomads, who have been terrorizing them in the area since the security agencies had failed to offer the needed protection.

The MP, together with youth of the community, held a press conference last week, during which they issued a threat to engage the Fulani herdsmen and chase them out of the community, contending that the police and other security agencies have failed to provide residents with the needed protection from the activities of these nomads.

They contended that security authorities have been reluctant to enforce a court ruling ordering the eviction of the Fulani herdsmen from the area. The recent killings, therefore, bring to three, the number of persons allegedly shot dead by the cattle headers, in less than four weeks following similar incident at the beginning of the year, during which a fetish priest was allegedly shot and killed in his farm.

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