Superintendent Obeng Yeboah, the District Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), has told members of Fulani settler communities not to accommodate new nomadic herders without reporting to his office for background verification and immigration status checks.
He said most of the Fulanis use unapproved routes in entering the country and that became difficult in regulating and tracking their activities.
Superintendent Yeboah was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a security operation intervention by the Sekyere-Central District Security Committee (DISEC), following reports of disturbances that broke out between Fulani herders and farmers at Oku, a farming community in the District.
The security operation was in response to reports of disturbances that had recently erupted between the herders and the community’s farmers, over the destruction of their crops and the refusal of the herders to pay the latter the compensation demanded.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Charles Atuah, the District Police Commander said a meeting was immediately held by the DISEC team when reports of the incidence reached them and they had to hurriedly intervene to avert the situation from escalating.
He said reports reaching the DISEC had it that the nomadic herders about a month ago suddenly invaded the community and pitched camp there with their herds of cattle, ravishing the crops of the farmers.
DISEC immediately moved to the community but reports indicated that the herdsmen, apparently getting wind of the said operation, fled the community three days before the team arrived.
The operation team however set fire to their thatched huts and property and razed them down completely.
DSP Atuah said the fleeing nomads might be taking cover in peripheral areas such as Kumawu, Ejura, Atebubu and Nsuta, which are notable areas where a considerable number of them reside with their herds of cattle.
He assured of DISEC’s efforts to help beef up security in the area to protect the community and urged members to continue to have trust in the Police Service to report such cases as early as possible in order to get the needed response.
The District Commander, however advised the residents against taking the law into their hands to kill the cattle when they found the animals grazing on their farms, but report the matter to the police for redress.
“This normally sparks conflicts and resulted in loss of lives,” he noted.
Speaking on steps taken so far to deal with the Fulani menace in the area, Mr. Bediako Kwadwo Banahene, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said the DISEC and the District Assembly were strategically managing the situation, through a direct engagement with the affected communities.
He said the communities have been advised to report such cases to the police and the Assembly early enough for the appropriate response to avert any nasty scenes.
Mr Banahene said constant community education has been embarked on in the various communities on issues such as immigration regulations on the Fulani, the consequences of hosting a Fulani without the notification of the local authorities among others.
The DCE used the occasion to call on the central government for support in the form of construction of the bad roads and additional vehicles since the single vehicle of the Assembly was woefully inadequate in reaching out to the various communities.