Defence Minister to explain failure to fight nomads to Parliament
The Minister of Defence was summoned Thursday to appear before Parliament and explain why Ghana was helpless in the fight against the dangers of the Fulani herdsmen.
Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing, who made the call said no one could understand why the security services were not able to handle the problem and urged the Speaker to invite them to testify why they failed to eradicate the menace.
He was commenting on a statement presented by Mr Peter Wiafe Pepera, Member for Abetifi(NPP), on the plights of the inhabitants of the Dwerebease-Kwahu due to the nefarious activities of the Fulani herdsmen.
Narrating a nagging story of how the cattle of Fulani herdsmen destroyed large acres of maize plantation he organised some youth to cultivate, Mr Bagbin said he contacted all the security apparatus in the area for assistance including the District Chief Executive and the Minister of Defence but no solutions had been found.
“I lost everything. Not a single bag of maize was realised and the foot soldiers came to my office weeping”, he said.
“The herdsmen started their incursion in the 1990s, they plunge into our farms, rape our women attack our children and we are helpless”, he said.
Mr Dan Botwe, Member for Okere (NPP), said he did not understand why Ghana with its security apparatus would fold while local Fulani herdsmen would descend upon the country and take Ghanaians to ransom.
He wondered whether the role of the military was to work for international peace without caring for Ghanaians at home.
He said as a cabinet member in the previous administration, report of the security services constantly reveal that one of the security threats to the country was the activities of the Fulani herdsmen and wondered whether as a country nothing had been done to address the problem all this while.
Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, Member for Wenchi (NPP), who endorsed the position of the earlier speakers called on Parliament to set up a committee that would look into the matter and find solutions to the problem.
Mr Wiafe earlier indicated that the statement was a petition of the Chiefs and people of the area to carry to House for an urgent attention.
He said the herdsmen believed to be of Fulani origin and heavily armed unlawfully graze their cattle on their farmlands.
He said since the incursion of the Fulani herdsmen, most of the inhabitants now lived in fear and utterly scared of visiting their farms for the necessary planting, weeding and harvesting activities.
In particular, the female population according to him, had ceased go on their farming activities completely for fear of rape or other molestation.
“The general fear and panic has stricken the people and as a result there has been significant reduction in the economic activities resulting in people being treated as refugees in own homes”, he said.
He explained that there many people had suffered in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen including one death and several major injuries.
Mr Wiafe said the dissidents were planning armed retaliation if they did not see concrete actions taken by the authorities.
Ruling on the matter, Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo, Speaker of Parliament, ordered Parliament to constitute a 9 member committee to find lasting ways of dealing with the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen.