The about 200 combined military and police force deployed to evacuate the Fulani nomads from the Asante Akyem North and Sekyere Afram Plains Districts in the Ashanti region, have been advised to shoot on sight in the wake of the slightest threat.
The security personnel have been psyched to even shoot at a leave in the bush if it moves in a way they are suspicious of.
Addressing the battle-ready men in uniform as they set off to evacuate normally Fulani herdsmen from Agogo land, the Konongo Divisional police commander, Superintendent Bossman Ohene-Boadi painted a horrific picture of the nomads.
“They are not people we have to toil with, they are dangerous, if you joke with them, they will take your life,” he told his men.
The Fulani herdsmen have over the years been accused of destroying farmlands of Agogo residents and at times killing the farmers.
Three soldiers and a police officer were left in critical condition after being ambushed and shot by persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Monday at Agogo on their normal operation.
The security personnel deployed at Asante Akyem North and Sekyere Afram Plains Districts have therefore been told to defend themselves.
“I believe in safety first,” Supt. Ohene-Boadi told an already charged team, “if you see anybody holding arms and wants to attack, please don’t waste time.”
He said the Operation Cowleg that were stationed there have been beefed with more officers from Accra.
He therefore enquired from the security personnel, “are Fulanis better than us? Can they shoot better than us?” which they answered in unison “no sir!”
“Nobody should die in the bush…no risk taking,” he reminded them of the potential threat ahead, revealing that some nomads calling themselves gorillas are bent on ambushing them.
It was based on this that he relayed the concern of the Member of Parliament for the area that, “if you see a leave waving and you are not sure of the leave, please shoot and see what it is”.
The commander issued clear instruction to his men that they should not allow the herdsmen to take over the Agogo land because it is the food basket of the country.
A statement from the Information Ministry spelt out the objectives of the operation:
- Pushback the herdsmen from the new areas they have occupied
- Arrest perpetrators of recent acts of violence for prosecution
- Argument the efforts of Operation Cowleg, an ongoing security operation aimed at dealing with the activities of herdsmen in the area
According to the ministry, ” a programme to restrict and ranch cattle will commence upon completion of this operation, to provide a long-term solution to the challenges associated with unrestricted cattle rearing”.
By Isaac Essel |3news.com | Ghana