....A Private Member's
Bill For Passage Into A Law Requiring Cattle Farmers In Ghana To Fence
In Their Herds?
By Kofi Thompson
There is no question that most Ghanaians who are aware of it, have had
enough of the criminal activities of the lawless elements amongst
Fulani cattle herdsmen, across the country.
Many of those victimised by Fulani herdsmen want them to be
prosecuted swiftly, jailed and deported from Ghana, after serving
their sentences - if they are not Ghanaian citizens.
Indeed, one doubts very much whether there is any Ghanaian, who does
not empathise with the people of the farming communities, which are
being made to suffer economic losses resulting from the destruction of
farms by grazing cattle herded by Fulanis.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nathan Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti
Regional Police Commander, is right in saying that the time has now
come for the nation to take bold action to deal effectively, once and
for all, with lawless Fulani cattle herdsmen.
It is intolerable that farmers in many areas of Asante Akyem, for
instance, should be raped, maimed and murdered with impunity on their
own farms by Fulani herdsmen.
And it does not come as a surprise that most young people in Agogo
and its periphery want Fulani herdsmen to leave with their cattle -
and are threatening to take the law into their own hands to drive them
away if need be.
However, since we are a nation of laws, it is important that in
dealing with the lawless elements amongst Fulani herdsmen, no one is
allowed to resort to unlawful action.
The question is: As a people, what creative means can we use, to
resolve this thorny issue - especially as the possibility exists that
some of them might eventually evolve into terrorists: given the
callous disregard for human life shown by vicious Fulani herdsmen who
commit heinous crimes such as highway robberies?
In our democratic society underpinned by the rule of law, Parliament
holds the key to the resolution of the problem, in my humble view.
It is only Parliament that can pass the needed laws that will force
the wealthy and powerful individuals who outsource the entirety of the
operational side of their cattle-rearing businesses, to Fulani
herdsmen, to take ultimate responsibility for the activities of their
agents and assigns.
Since he is a parliamentarian, why does the Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang,
the MP for Asante Akyem North, not lobby his colleagues in Parliament,
for bipartisan support, for a private member's bill to be passed under
a certificate of urgency, into a law that states unambiguously that
cattle can only be reared and kept within secure fenced-in areas in
Ghana - for which permits have to be first obtained from District
Assemblies - and can be moved from one point to another only in
vehicles, but then only after prior permission for such movement from
one point to another has been obtained from the police?
If the Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang successfully lobbies his colleagues
to enable Parliament pass a private member's bill, sponsored by him,
into a law, he will be exhibiting rare leadership that will enable him
leave a lasting legacy as a responsible politician - which is far
better for him in the long-term than being remembered as a
parliamentarian who was once sought by the police because he was a
Grandstanding to take advantage of public discontent in a volatile
situation, which could ultimately lead to violence and chaos anywhere
in our homeland Ghana, for short-term political gain, really is
despicable. For Mother Ghana's sake we must always condemn politicians
who attempt to do so.
Ghana's global reputation as a haven of peace and stability in West
Africa is a priceless asset, which ought to be guarded jealously, by
all patriotic and well-meaning Ghanaians.
Under no circumstances should Ghanaians allow block-headed and
verbally-aggressive politicians to destroy it - which is why many
independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians (including little old me)
are so contemptuous of verbally-aggressive politicians like the New
Patriotic Party's Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos and the National Democratic
Congress' Robert Owusus.
With respect, instead of expending his considerable energies engaging
in rabble-rousing, the Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang ought to focus
instead, on getting a law passed by Parliament to enable law
enforcement agencies, and officials of District Assemblies, to end the
atrocities committed by Fulani cattle herdsmen in Agogo and other
areas across our homeland Ghana.