Northern chiefs charged up
2010-08-06 22:31:18This article has been read 868 times.The incessant nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen in the country have indeed become a great source of worry to traditional rulers in the three Northern Regions, whose people are at the brunt of these negative activities.
The chiefs have therefore vowed to adopt their own means of flushing out the alien herdsmen in their communities, since the state has been very unconcerned about the issue.
The over paramount chiefs also expressed serious disappointment with the government for unjustifiably failing to institute concrete measures to regulate and monitor the activities of the Fulanis, who they said, were becoming a grave “nuisance” in the Ghana.
At a roundtable discussion of all the paramount chiefs in the three Northern regions held in Tamale recently to discuss the drafted Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Bill, and make significant inputs, the majority criticised the government for over-glorifying the so-called ECOWAS protocol of free trade and human movement, at the expense of the rights, safety, and security of Ghanaians.
The Paramount Chief of Gwollu in the Sissala West District of the West Region, Kuoru Kuri-Buktie Limann II, was one of the vociferous chiefs who were passionate about the issue of the Fulanis.
He indicated that his traditional area was close to the Burkina Faso-Ghana border, and recounted some of the bad activities of the aliens.
The Chief lamented that apart from broad daylight robbery and the destruction of people’s farms, the Fulani herdsmen also engaged in raping married women and other young ladies at gunpoint.
They sometimes also kill and takeover the livestock of some poor farmers, and run away unpunished.
The Paramount Chief of Gwollu therefore challenged government and for that matter Parliament to without any further delay, come out with legislative instrument that could transform the Fulanis and sanction them when necessary.
The Paramount Chief of the Kpembe Traditional in the East Gonja District (Salaga), Kpembewura Haruna Kabasigi, also lamented that he did not foresee any possibility of the government taking stringent measure to flush out and regulate the activities of the herdsmen, since several public outcries to it had gone unanswered.
The Kpembewura, therefore, announced plans to unilaterally demarcate a portion of the lands in his area for the Fulanis, where they would be confined, or restricted from mingling with the indigenes and going through people’s farms, and would have access to all the basic social amenities, especially water and electricity.
According to him, he was already in talks with the leadership of the Fulanis, to ensure that all their members and animals were registered, to avoid the stealing of other people’s cattle.
The Paramount Chiefs of Bolgatanga and Yunyoo, Bolga-Naaba, Martin Abilba, and Yunyoo-rana Yamyia Tooka II respectively, in separate interviews with The Chronicle, also attributed the growing problem to successive governments’ inability to include the traditional authorities in governance.
According to the Yunyoo-Rana, the ECOWAS Protocol treaty was not superior to the laws of Ghana, and charged the government to be firm and resolute in protecting its people’s lives and properties.
He stated that the grave nuisance the Fulani herdsmen were creating in Ghana could not be perpetrated or accepted in any other ECOWAS member country.
The Chief, therefore, called on the government to control the Fulanis, and make them pay heavy taxes, and also face serious sanctions for any wrongs they would commit.
Meanwhile, the activities of the Fulani herdsmen are gradually threatening the security of residents in the three Northern Regions.
These herdsmen are alleged to be the brains behind the major highway robberies, indiscriminate rape of women, and the burning of farms, leading to considerable loss of farm produce stored in the farm houses, and those yet to be harvested.
They are also believed to be engaged in the cutting down of food crops and economic trees for feeding their animals, which is making the north more prone to desertification.
Residents on several occasions have engaged in confrontations with these herdsmen, and raised concerns over their continuous stay in the region, and have called on the authorities to, as a matter of urgency, eject them, or closely monitor their activities.
Many have also blamed them for the poor harvests which had impacted negatively on the food security in the Northern Sector, regarded as the bread basket of the country.