Fulani Saga: Stop killing innocent cattle - Irbad Ibrahim
As part of measures to find solution to the Fulani herdsmen menace at Agogo in the Ashanti Region, a security analyst, Mr Irbad Ibrahim, has called on the government to give the herdsmen one month period of grace to allow them prepare and relocate.
According to him, the government’s approach to eradicate the menace is not the best and is likely to destroy the image of Ghana in the eyes of the international community.
The shooting approach, he explained, poses further threat to the security of the country, saying,
“There’s the fear of potential reprisal attacks by the herdsmen after the operation of the security agencies is over, and that does not speak well about Ghana’s security.”
“Animals do not have the faculty of thinking like human beings have. They are just there to graze and later be used as meat by humans.
“Shooting to kill innocent cattle like the firing squad style does not speak well of Ghana’s international reputation,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Heritage yesterday, Mr Ibrahim called on the security agencies to investigate the recent shooting of security personnel by the herdsmen rather than shooting the cattle.
“As Ghanaians, we put so much premium on the lives of an animal that certain ethnic groups use as totem and should not be harmed. There are existing international norms that protect animal rights.
“For Ghana to be seen by the world killing and traumatising animals at point blank range with machine guns is going to soil our reputation,” he told the paper.
To find a long term solution to the menace, the security analyst called for a temporary halt in cattle business in the area.
The halt, he suggested, would enable the government and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue to find a long-term solution to the problem.
“If they [herdsmen] fail to comply after the one-month period of grace by the government or the military, then no one will speak on behalf of any businessman or woman who’s engaged in cattle rearing.
“After the one-month period, the government could take radical measures which shouldn’t include killing the cattle. We are calling on the government to save the lives of innocent cattle,” he said.
He further suggested that after the one-month period the State could “confiscate the cattle and use them for the school feeding programme or to feed our prisons or hospitals.”
The government has deployed about 200 police and military personnel to the Asante Akyem North and Sekyere Afram Plains districts in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions respectively to help solve the Fulani herdsmen menace.
A statement signed by the Deputy Minister for Information, Mr Curtis Perry Okudzeto, and copied to the DAILY HERITAGE explained that the operation was in response to recent attacks on residents and security personnel in the area by some herdsmen.
He further indicated that the operation seeks to arrest perpetrators of recent acts of violence for prosecution, as well as push back the herdsmen from new areas they have occupied.
He added that one of the objectives of the operation was to “augment the efforts of ‘Operation Cowleg’, an ongoing security operation aimed at dealing with the activities of herdsmen in the area.”
The deputy minister further stated that “a programme to restrict and ranch cattle will commence upon completion of this operation to provide a long-term solution to the challenges associated with unrestricted cattle rearing.”