Just as more attacks had been reported in Benue State since the take off of the anti-open grazing law, wave of Fulani herdsmen attack in Eastern part of Ghana is becoming unprecedented.
The situation has forced the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Eric Kwakye Darfour, to urge Ghanaians to remain calm whilst interim measures are being taken to return normalcy to affected communities.
It would be recalled that at the height of Fulani herdsmen killings which had spread across several states in Nigeria, many states had enacted state laws to control the menace.
Benue is the third in the row after Ekiti and Nasarawa State.
But there had been disquiet since Wednesday last week when the law took effect after six months of grace to herdsmen to invest in ranching.
Governor Samuel Ortom had signed the new law in May and allowed a six months grace period as provided by the law for the herdsmen to invest in ranching, there are facts and figures that the cattle owners failed to invest with the hope of continuing their nomadic life which now outlawed in the state.
There had been pockets of killings since the take off of the law, but security forces are working with the government to contain the crisis even as the government insists that the law had come to stay.
In Ghana weekend, the Minister issued a statement assuring Ghanaians and mainly the agro population of Eastern region of government’s commitment to deal with the threat.
He also expressed government’s condolences to the families and loved ones of the ten people who were killed in the recent conflict between Fulani herdsmen and the Kwahu Community.
The minister’s statement read in parts: “I assure all communities in the Eastern Region and Ghanaians both home and abroad that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Government considers these conflict as a menace to society and a threat to our democratic and peaceful coexistence, more especially at a time when NPP government is taking all the pain to grow investor confidence in the country and empower the private sector as engine of growth.
“Indeed these conflicts are of great concerns and worry to me as the leader of the Region, which I recently inaugurated a steering committee for Investment Coordination for Sustainable Industrial Programme (ERICSIP), an initiative designed to harmonise all investments across the 26 districts of the Region to ensure maximum impact whilst positioning the Region as a modern and sophisticated society for prosperity and dignity.
“As the Regional Minister and also as a Member of Parliament, I will continue to do everything within the laws of Ghana to ensure that the conflicts are addressed to a large extend.
“I consider the following as key action steps towards providing answers to the many questions and eventually a lasting solution to the challenge in which lies many opportunities for a paradigm shift in our agricultural practices including livestock and crop farming.
“An invitation to a frank, open and sincere national discourse on the matter devoid of partisanship and blame games. Facilitating dialogue between the leadership of the affected communities and leadership of cattle rearing associations within the affected district.
“Initiating proposals for policy reforms that should empower the private sector to invest in the application of modern technology and infrastructure in the management of Ghana’s growing cattle industry,” Darfour noted.