I’ll permanently tackle farmer-herder clashes – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said his administration is devising measures to address the long-standing-conflict between nomadic herdsmen and local residents permanently.
Speaking at a meeting with leaders of nomadic herdsmen communities of Fulani extraction, the President expressed concerns about the persistent clashes describing it as worrying.
There have been a number of clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers that have in some cases led to injuries, death and destruction of property.
Tensions escalated recently in the Asante Akyem North District of the Ashanti Region after four security personnel, including three military officers and a police officer, who had been deployed to the area to evict nomadic herdsmen and their cattle, were shot by an unknown assailant at Agogo.
The government had dispatched about 200 personnel drawn from the military and police service to the Asante Akyem North and Sekyere Afram Plains districts, to flush out nomadic herdsmen who were reportedly terrorizing farmers.
Hundreds of cattle were killed, while some of the herders and their cattle were evicted from the Asante Akyem North, into the Sekyere District.
Other incidents that occurred at Dwerebeafe, Aboyan and Mpeamu in the Kwahu East District between nomadic herdsmen believed to be of Fulani extraction and some farmers, reportedly led to the death of nine persons.
The President however reiterated government’s commitment to working with leaders of communities of nomadic herdsmen to bring these clashes to an end.
“It is important that I speak frankly to you. Everybody in this country has been disturbed by the activities of ‘Fulani herdsmen’. You hear about reports from different parts of the country, Volta Region, Ashanti Region is very disturbing and therefore finding a solution is one of the big concerns of my government. “
“When Kufuor was here ten years ago, he began to work hard to resolve the problem and unfortunately he had to go and the government went with him, but we are back and we are determined to find a solution that will protect everybody, the herdsmen, the cattle and the community in which they work because if we do not have the understanding of having to work together , it becomes very difficult. I want to thank you for the courage and sense of responsibility in coming here and this is commendable,” the President told the community leaders at a meeting at the Flagstaff House.
At the meeting, it was decided that a special task-force will be set up to ensure that persons fueling these clashes are dealt with.
“I am very encouraged by the offer of the task-force. They will work together in your community and the law enforcement agencies to make sure anybody who wants to misbehave is dealt with appropriately.”
“I feel very strongly the statement made by the spokesperson that there are herdsmen everywhere and whenever they misbehave they say Fulani Herdsmen and it is a pity that that should be the case and that is why we have to make sure the matter changes.”