Ghana to set up military base in Afram Plains
The government has received a 50-acre land at Akyemfuor near Maame Krobo in the Afram Plains South District to set up a Military Base to tackle the growing insecurity associated with farmers and Fulani herdsmen.
Akyemfuor Asiedu Agyemang, the Chief of Abetifi and also Adontenhene of Kwahu Traditional Area, allotted the land to the state for the construction of the camp dubbed, “Forward Operation Base.”
Provision of the land had been hailed as a good intervention that would assist the government to help tame recurring conflicts between local farmers and Fulani herdsmen, and further improve general security in Afram Plains.
Mr Seth Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister and Chairman of the Regional Security Committee visited the site on Wednesday in the company of top military officers, including Brigadier-General Michael Amoah-Ayisi, General Officer Commanding Southern Sector and Brigadier-General Gyane Adoh Richard, Director for Planning and Research Development.
The team inspected the land and were also shown temporary structures at Kwanin that have been provided by the chiefs to accommodate personnel as efforts were being made to construct the permanent camp.
Mr Acheampong told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the establishment of the Special Forces base had become imperative because several efforts to get the security issues in the Afram Plains addressed proved ineffective.
“The objective of the establishment of the military base is to ensure that there is peace in the community. Crop farming is an economic activity and similarly, cattle farming is truly an economic event, and we should not despise what they do,” he said.
“All that the government require is for these farmers to live interdependently and grow the community progressively,” he added. “This is the reason of engaging and setting up forces such that whenever conflicts arise, they can step in to restore peace.”
He stressed that the setting up of the Forward Operation Base would certainly happen at Akyemfuor with the inspection of the parcel of land, “We are commencing it.”
He added, “A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a step so coming here today is building up the foundation that will help us to achieve the overall objective of permanent stay of the military men here in Afram Plains South District.”
Also speaking with the GNA, Mr Evans Kyei Ntiri, District Chief Executive of Afram Plains South District, explained that the issues with crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen have been occurring seasonally, and that, he believed with the presence of a military base it would be curbed.
Afram Plains had one of the biggest markets in the Eastern Region, generating substantial revenue, but people who traded in and out of the geographical enclave do not have their way safe due to rampant robbery attacks and theft, which local farmers blame on cattle herdsmen.
This has often erupted into a conflict between the farmers and the herdsmen, escalating insecurity in the predominantly farming area.
Mr Ntiri assured residents and traders of a lasting solution and urged them to calm down tempers because those security issues were going to be “things of the past” following the establishment of the military base.
He expressed the hope within one month, the military personnel would arrive as it had been said.
He praised the Chiefs and people of the area, especially Akyemfuor Asiedu Agyemang for giving out the land, as well as Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong, Paramount Chief of Kwahu Traditional Area, for his continuous support to finding a lasting solution to the menace.