Residents of Bongo-Soe community in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region have given a one-month ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen to leave their community. According to a statement by Mr Vitus Azeem, former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the herdsmen have been illegally occupying the residents’ farmlands and causing terror.
The ultimatum follows a violent clash between members of the community and the herdsmen on March 28, 2023, when a young man from Bongo-Soe was allegedly beaten by some Fulani herdsmen while fishing. The victim, Mr Atiah Nsoh, suffered a fracture on his right leg while his motorcycle, mobile phone, and an undisclosed amount of money were taken from him.
According to Mr Azeem, the Fulani herdsmen wanted to slaughter Mr Nsoh, but a more reasonable member of the trio objected to that. They tried to castrate him, but he resisted, and they beat him up. He added that this was not the first time that some Fulani herdsmen had attacked a member of the community. Some women were raped, and cattle were stolen from the community in the past.
The clashes resulted in several people from both factions sustaining injuries, and 11 youths were arrested and put in police custody. Mr Azeem demanded that the police investigate and bring the perpetrators of the crime to book. He also urged the Assembly to foot the medical bills of the injured young man and retrieve his motorcycle and mobile phone for him.
The residents of Bongo-Soe are expecting the Fulani herdsmen to vacate their community in a month’s time because they have overstayed their welcome and are trying to take possession of the community. Mr Azeem said the Fulani chief, who was enskinned by the paramount chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, regarded himself to be at the same level as the native community chiefs.
Ms Rita Atanga, the District Chief Executive of Bongo, assured the community that the Assembly is working on their demands to find a lasting solution to the issue. She called for cooperation from both factions to ensure the issue is resolved amicably.
In conclusion, the residents of Bongo-Soe community are standing up to protect their farmlands and security. It is important that the government and all stakeholders involved in the situation take urgent action to address the issue before it escalates further.