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Evicting Fulani herdsmen too complex – Minister

Date published: Thursday, 14th April 2016

The Ashanti Regional Minister, John Alexander Ackon, has said it would be difficult to evict all Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from Agogo due to the complex nature of the situation.

He made the assertion during an address to journalists after a meeting aimed at resolving the dispute between settler herdsmen and the residents of Agogo, which has so far led to the death of some two people and the destruction of farmlands.

Reacting to demands by residents to evict the herdsmen from the area, Mr. Ackon said he could not give timelines anymore, but rather urged the communities who have over the years lived with the herdsmen to understand the difficulty in dealing with the matter.

According to him, “The handling is a bit different from what we normally think it should be and that is the complexity and that is why we think that communities should understand because we have been with them for long. We need to understand ourselves so that we will be seen to be working as one unit.”

“We cannot give a timeline for pushing cattle because there are Ghanaians who have cattle so don’t behave as if Ghanaians don’t need the cattle,” he added.

Mr. Ackon further admitted that it would difficult to drive out the cattle and indicated that actions that promoted peace and coexistence were instead needed in the community.

“It is difficult to really get to that point and say we are going to push every cattle out of the city. There are things of law but because of the destruction, we have to act in a manner that will give peace to the community.”

Regional Minsters comments ‘immature’ – MP But the Member of Parliament for the Asante Akyem North Constituency, Kwadwo Baah Agyeman, has rubbished Mr. Ackon’s comments describing them as immature.

Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Baah Agyeman said, “From the comments that he has made, he has no idea how to solve this problem… you make  such loose comments, such immature comments, I am so surprised.”

He felt the Ashanti Regional Minister should have consulted with the interested parties before speaking on the issue since he is new.

“He should have settled down well and spoken to both parties very well, done thorough investigations to assess the best possible ways that we can use to tackle this menace.”

We will defend ourselves  Following the comments, Mr. Baah Agyeman has reiterated his earlier position that government has failed the residents of Agogo residents, hence their decision to protect their lives and livelihood.

“From this comment, I have now come to terms with the fact that government and the REGSEC is not ready to assist us to flush out the cattle… Per the details of the 1992 constitution, every citizen has the right of protection, we will go to the bush and protect the land and go on with our daily farming activities.”

4,000 cattle eveicted from Agogo

The Minsiter had earlier revealed that so far over 4,000 cattle belonging to nomadic Fulani herdsmen, have been moved from Agogo.

“There has been considerable improvement; anybody who has followed will know that there has been movement of cattle, it’s getting to the range of 4,000.

Last month there was about 1,000 going who are moving gradually and there is an improvement in the situation. I wouldn’t say we have succeeded in all because we are dealing with animals but a lot has been done,” the Minister said in an interview.

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