The Agogo Youth Association has rubbished demands by some herdsmen for compensation for the alleged killing of their cattle by members of the Operation Cowleg taskforce.
They also described the recent press conference held by the Fulani Association in Ghana as needless.
At that press conference, the President of the Suudu Baaba Fulani Association of Ghana, Osman Barry, complained of the “repeated atrocities perpetrated against Fulanis.”
He also called for compensation for Fulani victims of the operation, following what some have described as the harsh methods of the task-force.
However the Chairman of the Agogo Youth Association, Emmanuel Buabeng urged the authorities to disregard these demands accusing the nomadic herdsmen of killing a number of the residents of the area.
He argued that a compensation package should rather be arranged for families who have lost their relatives in clashes with the herdsmen.
“They don’t need any compensation, they have shot and killed about 49 indigenes of ours and we have not heard of any group or person called Fulani youth, so why now?” he said.
“How can they equate human life to cattle? So if they are demanding compensation for their cattle, it means that the government has to compensate the kids whose fathers have been shot and killed. We have a lot of kids who cannot go to school because these Fulanis have killed their fathers,” Buabeng said.
About eight people lost their lives with several others sustaining injuries in separate reprisal attacks at Dwibease and Wheewhee communities about a fortnight ago.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, in a Citi News interview said some have blamed the reprisal attacks on alleged destruction of farmlands by the cattle belonging to the nomadic herdsmen.
“Reasons for the killings are yet to be known, but with the history between herdsmen and residents in Kwahu, it can be linked to the destruction of farmlands by cattle.”
The government subsequently dispatched about 200 personnel drawn from the military and police service to Agogo and Sekyere Afram Plains districts to flush out the nomadic herdsmen who are reportedly terrorizing residents of those areas.
A statement signed by a Deputy Minister of Information, Curtis Perry Kwabia Okudzeto, said the joint security team has been tasked to “push back the herdsmen from new areas they have occupied, arrest perpetrators of recent acts of violence for prosecution, and augment the efforts of Operation Cowleg, an ongoing security operation aimed at dealing with the activities of herdsmen in the area.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant Gen. O. B Akwa, also assured the people of Agogo that the task-force will push through their mandate until the issue is resolved.
According to him, they have the backing of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces to ensure that the objectives for the formation of the task-force are achieved.
He warned that an attack on the security is an attack on the state, and stressed that the Security will respond to any attack in equal measure.
“We shall be unrelenting in this assignment until we bring it to a closure,” he said.
“You all recall that not too long ago there was a major incident here where some soldiers and policemen were attacked in the course of their duty. And we want to make this point very clear that no attack on a soldier, policeman or any other security person or an ordinary citizen of Ghana shall go without a response. And this response will be proportionate, it will be graduated, depending on the level of attack, we will up our game. It will address the core problems of the traditional area.”