Kwahu East towns deserted; schools affected following clashes with Fulani herdsmen
Pupils, students and teachers in some towns in the Kwahu East District in the Eastern Region have abandoned their schools, while some farmers have deserted the communities, following acts of violence involving some local people and Fulani herdsmen which led to the death of nine people.
The closure of the schools is likely to affect junior high school (JHS) students who are scheduled to register for the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Some of the communities are Dwerebease, Oboyan and Mpaemu, all in the Kwahu East District.
Although the closure of the schools has not been sanctioned by the Ghana Education Service (GES), the heads of the schools, for fear of their teachers, pupils and students being caught up in the conflict, have closed down the schools, while farmers and other residents of the affected communities who have fled to other areas are afraid to return.
Confirming reports of the closure of the schools to the Daily Graphic, the Kwahu East District Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Agyapong, said the assembly was talking to the teachers to reopen the schools, since the presence of the police in the affected communities should be enough assurance that lives were protected.
He said the police platoon sent to the area was providing 24-hour security and, therefore, nobody had any excuse not to go to school.
Mr Agyapong said some of the schools were located close to the communities and, therefore, teachers and pupils should not entertain any fears.
He expressed the hope that the teachers would heed the call of the assembly and other stakeholders to ensure that schoolchildren did not suffer unnecessarily.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC) is considering reintroducing ‘Operation Cowleg’ with the view to flushing out Fulani herdsmen from the Afram Plains.
The ERCC is of the opinion that if funds could be made available for the operation, just as is being done for Operation Vanguard, much could be achieved.
Addressing the media after a meeting of the ERCC in Koforidua last Tuesday, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, said members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) would visit the affected areas in Kwahu East on November 6, 2017 to meet with leaders of the Fulani community in Kwahu, chiefs, farmers and other stakeholders to further discuss the issue.
"A proposal for addressing the Fulani menace which has been submitted to the REGSEC by the Kwahumanhene will be discussed," he added.
He said the REGSEC would also consider the need to revive the fodder bank system and possibly propose to the government to create a fodder bank around the Dwerebease enclave.
On the reprisal attacks, Mr Darfuor described them as unfortunate and assured the people that security personnel would work around the clock to contain the situation.