Residents of Gbefi Descend Heavily On Fulani herdsmen
The Residents of Gbefi in Kpando Municipality have expressed worry over the manner in which Nomadic herdsmen are destroying their farmlands.
According to them, the Fulani herdsmen are not only destroying their farmlands; but they are also harassing local farmer-folks.
Recounting the atrocious act meted out to a young lady way back in 1970, the residents claimed the young lady was raped and killed by Fulani herdsmen when she went to fetch firewood along the Gbefi-Kpando road.
The Spokesperson for the community, Torgbe Kweku Dua, who briefed the media said a similar tragic incident occurred in 2008 as they experienced another onslaught of Fulani herdsmen and their cattle on Gbefi community lands where their cattle destroyed farms and properties.
“They harassed, robbed, raped, and terrorized farmers. And these actions deterred farmers, whose only source of income and livelihood is farming from going to their farms,” he lamented.
The chiefs and elders reported the incident to the police and the authorities concerned but no action was taken.
Several attempts we made to consult those in the helm of affairs to intervene, but all these attempts proved futile,” he lamented.
According to him, considering the extent of damages and destructions caused by these Fulani herdsmen, the youths then decided to drive them away from the land using minimum force.
“Since then, we have been living peacefully and carrying on with our usual farming activities until recently.
On 16th August 2023, we picked intelligence that some Fulani herdsmen invaded our land again with cattle numbering more than 150. Some elders were asked to move in to ascertain the fact.
They met the Fulani herdsmen and through interrogations, the owner was discovered. The chiefs and elders summoned him to the palace, giving him time to relocate the kraal to another place but not on Gbefi land.
A follow-up was made 2 weeks after to see if they complied with the directive but we were amazed to see the cattle still grazing on our land.
Delegations from the chiefs went and met the Municipal Chief Executive, in the person of Geoffrey Kodzo Badasu, and the Divisional Commander in the person of Chief Superintendent Samuel Yeboah on the matter.
On 21st August 2023, a formal complaint was lodged at the police station at Kpando. We were expecting the police to act swiftly on this matter, but they were adamant. All efforts to reach the police CID, sergeant Darkey Francis who was on the case was not successful,” he expatiated.
The extent and the rate at which the cattle were destroying people’s farms was alarming; the youths, seeing the dangers ahead mobilized themselves and dismantled the cattle structures and drove the cattle and the Fulani herdsmen away from the land.
The police and those in authority in the Kpando Municipality now saw it as unlawful on our part. They have now found the owners of the cattle within 20 minutes after the action of the youths.
The chiefs and elders of Gbefi were surprised to see the Police Commander and his men and the cattle owners in his palace demanding those who took action.
Upon careful analysis, the chiefs and elders don’t have any contract with the cattle owners and therefore cannot vouch for the safety of their cattle.
According to Torgbe Kweku Dua the alacrity at which the Kpando Municipal Police Commander could file a complaint at the chiefs of Gbefi without the corresponding urgency to evict the violent herdsmen and their cattle, they have sent a clear signal of collusion between the police and the Fulani headsmen to destabilize the community by their demands on the chiefs of Gbefi.
“Gbefi community deserves better treatment by their Municipal Assembly and the Police Command. The cry of the people of the Gbefi Community in terms of developmental deprivation without the attendant attention shows a clear grand scheme to subjugate us into penury.
If our socio-economic structures such as farming which is the mainstay of the locals cannot be protected, then the security of our people cannot be guaranteed as well.
Our Municipality and its security structures are failing in their mandate to protect us as citizens of the land.
The socio-economic, security, gains, and comfort of aliens should not override the need to curb the threat and loss of lives and livelihoods of the Gbefi community.
Below is the full statement
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo