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03.11.2005 General News

Fulani Herdsmen Under Attack

By Accra Mail
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Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country, in recent times, have become targets of dangerous attacks from people who accuse them of all sorts of crimes including armed robbery, rape and molestation of farmers.

It has been noted that most of these culprits often take advantage of the status of herdsmen as foreigners and more especially illiterates and subject them to various forms exploitation and inhuman treatment.

Less than a fortnight ago, a group of Fulani herdsmen at Kpormkpo near Juapong in the Volta Region were, for no reason, attacked, and their homes set on fire. Properties worth several millions of cedis and cash were destroyed in this dastardly act, perpetrated by people the victims identified as their landlords.

One of the victims, Muhammed Ali, a Nigerian, told the ADM that the attackers descended on them in broad daylight about 10am. "They just told us to pack and leave immediately, and before we could say anything they started firing gunshots and put our huts on fire".

Mr. Ali said they could not challenge their attackers because they were heavily armed. "We couldn't do anything because we didn't have the strength to fight them back, so we just looked on; as they did whatever they liked and left...All we did was to report the crime to the police and leave the rest to God...We know we did not offend anyone in any way to merit what they have done against us; and we believe that God surely will pay them back...But all the same we appeal to the Nigerian High Commissioner to assist us in ensuring that justice is done to this case", Mr. Ali told the ADM.

The police confirmed the incident being reported to them and said they were investigating it. The Peki District Police Commander, ASP Emmanuel Faata, said the police could not arrest any suspect as at the time of ADM's visit because none of the victims was able to identify anyone from the said village.

The Fulani men maintained that the chief of the village and some elders led the attack on them and that the Juapong police could not bring these people to book "because they were friends". ADM could not meet the chief of Kpormkpo, Torgbui Agbogidi, when it visited the village. An old man, Mr. Kordzo Torku, who described himself as the "stool father" of the village claimed the chief had travelled since the day the incident occurred.

He could not tell when exactly the chief would return, but claimed that the villagers had no hand in the incident. "We gave out the land to them about three years ago to raise their animals, and we have been living together peacefully", he said.

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