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Regional News Thu, 17 Jan 2019

Nomadic herdsmen invade Sekyere Central; officials to use diplomatic approach

Nomadic herdsmen and their cattle are returning to some areas of Ashanti Region from where they were evicted in a security operation last year.

Farmers in Asante-Akyem North, Sekyere Afram Plains and Sekyere Central Districts say the development poses serious human and food security challenges.

Police at Agogo are investigating alleged killing of a local company farm guard, said to have been shot by herdsmen.

David Ntiabak of the Scanfarm at Dukusen near Agogo was shot and severely wounded on January 12, 2019 by herdsmen who had invaded the farm with their cattle.

In the latest incident, herdsmen and their cattle have invaded the Sekyere Central District.

Authorities say they using a jaw-jaw approach to rid the area of nomadic herdsmen who are resurfacing.

Two farmers were shot last year when farmers at Jeduako attempted to evict herdsmen and their cattle.

Food crops at Jeduako, Governor, Nkudwua and other communities had been destroyed.

Even commercial farms under government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme have not been spared.

There are reports portions of tree plantation of Miro Forestry, a private entity, have also be devastated.

Farmers, especially women, are afraid to go to their farms for fear of being chewed up.

Among affected communities include Nkudwua, Oku, Ohemaa Dida, Jeduako, among others.

District Chief Executive, Kwadwo Banahene Bediako, says the presence of the herdsmen causes fear and panic among residents and threatens security in the area.

“It is becoming difficult and challenging to us as a district. The Forestry Commission has given a contract to Miro Company-they are planting new varieties of trees in the forest and cattle are destroying it. Farmers crops are been destroyed; women are afraid to go to their farms.”

The situation has prompted the assembly to take a quick decision on the issue.

“We have sat down as a District Security to have a full discussion. We asked the Immigration officials to check on us for the new ones that are in and those who are already in the system and the decision we have taken is to have a normal discussion with them.”

“What we are going to do is those who were not with us, we will ask them to leave.”

Mr. Banahene Bediako says the assembly lacks the capacity to single-handedly drive the herdsmen away.

He says jaw-jawing is the best approach in tackling the menace.

“As we talk now we are still limited[ police numbers]. That is why we have divided the area to five. It is not like one-time swoop kind of job and then jaw-jaws thing. For me, that is what I believe. If we discuss, others will listen to you they will leave. The stubborn ones will want to stay. Our team would be able to handle it.”

Source: Nhyira FM
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