The chief of Drobonso in the Ashanti Region’s Sekyere Afram Plains District has accused personnel of the Agogo District Police Command of killing cattle in the area.
The entry into Sekyere Afram Plains District for the purpose of shooting and killing cattle without justification, according to Nana Dankwah Dwubin-Siaw I, must stop.
According to him, the Kumawu District Police Command has jurisdiction over the Sekyere Afram Plains District, so the Agogo District Police Command should not be allowed to engage in alleged illegal activities like the killing of cattle without the consent of their fellow officers.
Nana Dwubin-Siaw told JoyNews that the district’s indigenous farmers and cattle owners may experience conflict as a result of the Police’s actions.
The chief said “Agogo Police Commander, what you are doing is illegal. Stop it.”
The chief alleged that the Police Commander and his team always storm his jurisdiction to kill cattle and carry the carcass away.
He noted that when he enquired about the Police action, the Drobonso and Sekyere Afram plain Police both denied knowledge about it.
According to Nana Dwubin-Siaw I, it was necessary for him to find reassuring phrases to soothe the herdsmen’s nerves; otherwise, trouble would have ensued.
“This area has historically seen conflict and bloodshed. Such a thing shouldn’t happen again.”
In cases where herdsmen disobey the law, they should be arrested, he told Agogo Police Commander Supt Kingsley Owusu Bempah.
While speaking at a joint press conference, Nana Dwubin-Siaw called on the government to get involved in the situation to prevent any disturbances in the area.
Shaibu Salifu, the leader of the cattle owner who led the delegation to the traditional authorities to file complaints, expressed concern over the situation.
According to Mr. Salifu, an MOU was signed by cattle owners and indigenous farmers with the support of the Ministry of Food Agriculture in order to preserve the current peaceful environment, but the Agogo District Police Command’s actions may have a negative impact on the MOU.
“The animals they killed that day were more than 50,” Salifu alleged. He also alleged that the Police sell the carcasses of the animals.
In response to the accusations made by the Chief, District Chief Executive for Sekyere Afram Plains, Suleiman Hamidu said that he is acting in accordance with the wishes of the people.
“For me, there is no problem,” he said.
He stated that the decision to expel nomadic herdsmen was reached at a joint meeting of the Asante Akim North Municipality (Agogo), Sekyere Afram Plains, and Sekyere Kumawu districts.
“It is not intentional – it is a decision the districts took. It is true that animals have been killed.”
When asked if they had engaged the herdsmen or not, the District Chief Executive replied that they had, but that multiple engagements with the herdsmen failed to produce a long-lasting solution.
In response to a further question about whether there might be an alternative to killing innocent animals to solve the issue, Mr Hamidu indicated that it is on purpose for herdsmen to destroy farmers’ crops and that the only solution is to flush them out of the area so they stop destroying farms.
He added that the death of a human, allegedly killed by herdsmen does not warrant much attention, but the killing of animals does.
The DCE said he had to use his car to save the life of a man who was allegedly shot by the herdsmen.
Asked whether the man died, he said, “No, but he was disabled.”
Coupled with other reasons, the DCE said prompt the districts to flush out the nomadic herdsmen.
On the issue of allegedly selling the Beef after killing cattle, Mr Hamidu dismisses the allegations.
“You can’t spend government money without evidence.. the security personnel report on it after they share it among the secondary schools,” he noted.
Source: Ghana News