Arise For Rights Of Fulanis In Ghana (AFROFIG), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has called on government and the citizenry to desist from the abuse of the rights and freedoms of the Fulani ethnic group in Ghana.
“The Fulanis are discriminated against in the hospitals, schools, at public transports, by police officers, and at the country’s borders by the immigration service officers who intimidate and extort monies from them. They are considered as inferior human beings in Ghana in all aspects and are oppressed to the extent that they themselves believe that they are inferior.”
Mr Mohammed Ibrahim Bari Diallo, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of AFROFIG made the call at a news conference in Bolgatanga and explained that international laws such as the National Assembly of France in 1789, 1993 Vienna Declaration and programme of action, the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR) frowned on human rights abuse and discrimination against any group in the world.
The PRO however, expressed regret that recent developments with regards to the treatment meted out to the nomadic herdsmen in the country particularly in Agogo in the Ashanti Region where some Fulanis and their cattle were killed was in bad taste.
He indicated “It is surprising in Ghana to find out that the Fulanis human rights are abused almost every hour and as if they do not have rights at all. When the cattle of these Fulanis mistakenly graze on a farm, the cattle are mostly shot dead or the herdsmen killed, but the police are always reluctant to make any arrest because they feel the herdsmen are not Ghanaians.”
The PRO observed that cattle rearing was an integral part of agriculture which is the backbone of the country’s economy and advocated collective efforts to enforce the necessary laws to improve the sector.
The Group therefore called on the government, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Local Government Ministry to act swiftly within 20 working days to secure grazing zones for the herdsmen in each district of the country and stop the evacuation of the herdsmen in the forest.
It also urged government to develop measures and strategies that would demand respect for the rights of all persons including the Fulanis and their herdsmen in the country.
“We are appealing to the office of our in-law, the Vice President and his wife to intervene to remedy the problem. Government should also instruct the immigration service officers at the country’s borders to stop intimidating and extorting monies from Fulanis”.
According to the PRO “If government does not act within 20 working days, the AFROFIG and Cattle Rearing Association of Ghana would proceed to court.”
The statement called on the media to desist from stereotyped reportage against Fulanis.