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01-Nov-2011  
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MAYHEM NEARLY occurred at Agogo in the Asante Akim North District of the Ashanti Region yesterday afternoon when two persons were allegedly shot by some Fulani herdsmen, who have just a week to vacate the area.

Sule Yakubu and Musah Hamidu were allegedly shot at about 3.00pm while they were busily working on their water melon farm located at Makala, a farming zone in the area.

Yakubu and Hamidu, both residents of Agogo Zongo, were working on their farm when they saw a herd of cattle approaching their farm.

Knowing the damage the animals could cause to their farm, they decided to prevent the animals from entering the farm, which incurred the displeasure of the Fulani herdsmen leading the animals.

In the heat of the ensuing quarrel, the fully-armed Fulani herdsmen were said to have pulled a gun and shot the two farmers.

Whereas Yakubu was shot in the chest, Hamidu received a bullet in the waist and another on his hand.

Due to the early arrival of some good Samaritans, the two victims did not die, as they were immediately rushed to the Agogo Government Hospital for urgent medical attention.

Information gathered by Daily Guide indicated that Yakubu, who was shot in the chest, was in a serious condition and might not survive unless medical officers at the hospital stepped up their healthcare delivery activities.

It would be recalled that about a week ago, a similar incident occurred when a 54-year-old farmer was shot dead by some alleged Fulani herdsmen on his farm. Fulani herdsmen have been causing havoc in the area, leading to the town’s youth waging war against them.

The National Security finally came to their aid with an order that Fulani nomads should relocate from the area, giving them a two-week ultimatum which expires in a week’s time.

But while the National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, gave the herdsmen two weeks to vacate the area, his boss, National Security Advisor Brig Gen Joseph Nunoo-Mensah is wondering where they should relocate to.

The people of Agogo, in recent times, had demanded the immediate expulsion of Fulani herdsmen from the area due to the inhuman treatment they visit on the natives including raping their wives and daughters.

Apart from raping women in the presence of their husbands on the farms, these Fulani herdsmen had allegedly been killing and injuring residents of the area who expressed displeasure at the destruction of their farms by the cattle belonging to these aliens.

The Agogo Youth Association, a youth pressure group championing the eviction of these Fulani herdsmen, had for the past weeks been organizing street protests and press conferences to press home their demand.

As part of their agitation, the group stopped the paramount chief of the area and a Council of State member, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, from organizing the funeral rites of his late uncle.

They specifically noted that until Nana Akuoko Sarpong, who released lands to these cattle breeders, drives them away from the area, they would not allow him to perform the funeral rites of his late uncle.

In response to the lamentations of the youth, the National Security Coordinator, Lt Col Gbevlo Lartey deployed a team of security personnel to the town to oversee the evacuation of these Fulani herdsmen from the area.

With a week more for the two-week ultimatum to elapse, the National Security appeared to have made a sharp u-turn, with Gen Nunoo-Mensah noting in an interview with Citi FM, an Accra-based radio station, that the Fulani herdsmen could not be evicted from the area. “The people of Agogo must understand that we have laws. If you offend me, I don’t go about trying to punish you otherwise there will be mayhem in this country.

“And again many of these cattle are owned by Ghanaians who employ Fulanis to take care of them,” General Nunoo-Mensah stated.
According to him, the best way forward was to ensure that the Fulani herdsmen constructed well-fenced kraal and also dug bore holes to provide drinking water for the animals to ensure that they did not go outside to destroy people’s farms.

Reacting to the latest comments of the National Security Coordinator, Alfred Gyimah, secretary of the Agogo Youth Association, said they would take the laws into their own hands to drive the Fulani herdsmen when the given ultimatum expired.

He said they would do that because they had realized that the National Security Coordinator was deceiving them and that he and the NDC government did not have the welfare of the Agogo people at heart.

 
 
Source: Morgan Owusu, Kumasi
 
 

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