By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Many communities in Ghana have suffered for far too long at the hands of the Fulanis whose anti-social activities have now become a major national problem to confront with vigour and determination. Most of these Fulanis are accused of committing crimes such as cattle rustling, murder, rape, plain theft, and complete disregard for our laws wherever they go.
The continuing show of anger against this Fulani menace by the chiefs and people of Agogo in Asante-Akyim is just one instance of how the situation has boiled over. Other incidents attributed to the Fulani menace have already occurred in several parts of the country, the latest one being the armed robbery on the Mafi Kumase-Ho road last weekend.
There must be a curb on this wanton misconduct by all these non-Ghanaians using the country as a safe haven to perpetrate crime or abuse the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality. Let’s get rid of these Fulanis now!
Although they have been operating in Ghana for decades, they haven’t come to so much needless attention in connection with criminal activities as they’ve been doing of late. What has happened to change the situation? And for how long should we sit down unconcerned for them to terrorize us in our own country? There is need to put them where they belong. Forget about the so-called ECOWAS protocol on free movement of people in the West African sub-region. I don’t know what specific purpose ECOWAS itself is serving to improve living conditions of people in the 16 countries banded together in this talk-shop for us to bother about its protocol.
The Fulani phenomenon is dangerous for us in many ways and if we have to confront it with all the forces at our disposal to rid our society of that menace, that’s what we must do. We must act decisively to uproot the Fulanis from our midst.
Their practices are obnoxious. Open grazing of cattle may remain the most preferred method for these nomadic Fulani herdsmen but it is no more suitable, especially in farming communities traversed by these Fulanis, where cattle contaminate drinking water and destroy valuable food and cash crops. The negative impact of this method on the subsistence farmers is enormous and the government must take prompt action to curb the nefarious activities of these Fulanis.
I support the National Security Advisor, Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah’s perspective: If there are laws against such misfits, they should be enforced. If none exists, it should be enacted without any further delay to curb their nefarious activities.
In the face of such a serious problem, our MPs appear not to know what to do. They are more interested in seeking their own welfare and care less about whatever plight the people face. In a country where politics has become a goldmine, that’s what will happen.
On the other hand, I don’t support the noise being made by Dr. Kwesi Aning, a Security analyst at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPTC), that any stringent action against the Fulanis will violate the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of people in the West African sub-region. The danger posed by these Fulanis cannot be blamed on the failure of the security agencies alone to control the Fulani phenomenon. When an “Operation Cowleg” was launched against these marauding Fulanis, it was expected to curb that menace but it fizzled out without anything remarkable being achieved. No one is mischievously isolating the Fulanis for any vengeance. It is their own nefarious activities that point them out as undesirables to be so dealt with. The time has come to enforce a more stringent measure to get rid of them. How much do they contribute to our economy? I doubt if we benefit in any way from their presence and activities. These Fulanis are a danger to our national interests and must be weeded out without any further recourse to useless protocols.
Here is where Dr. Ening goes wrong again: “He explained further that Ghana must develop grazing reserves for the Fulanis–obligations which the state has failed to carry out.”
We don’t need to expend energy and resources to enhance or supervise their activities because we can do better without them.
I urge all District, Municipal, and Metropolitan Assemblies to conduct a thorough survey in their communities to identify these Fulanis for immediate deportation. Ghana is not the home to these Fulanis and must not bear the negative brunt of their activities, the nuisance that they have become to us.
A coordinated and sustained campaign is required to keep away these undesirables. If the government fails to act expeditiously, it will create room for aggrieved people in communities suffering from the Fulani menace to take the law into their own hands. It is only then that these Fulani undesirables will be herded out of the country. They are a nuisance and must be so treated.