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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

The Fulani menace

The proverbial Ghanaian hospitality is threatening our national security. Until there is a reversal in how we manage this subject, time will come when we could be overwhelmed by persons who do not even qualify to reside in the country.

Hardly do we as citizens want to find out who our neighbours are, let alone know which part of the world they hail from and their security status.

Let us not misconstrue this commentary. We do not seek to have this hospitable attribute of ours reversed, no, never. All we are asking for is that we should not overstretch the attribute to the extent that our frontiers become useless and anybody can just move in and stay here without any regard for the existing law in migration.

Most of the Fulani herdsmen, the source of tension in some parts of the country, are nomadic and they migrate at will with total disregard to our laws. Perhaps because that has been the order over the years we have not found it necessary to review our positions against the backdrop of recent security in the West African sub-region.

Emerging developments, dangerous as they are, demand that we review our hospitality status and the enforcement of our immigration laws to prevent human threats to our national security from setting foot on the country.

It is unfathomable that a 16-year-old Fulani boy, obviously a non-Ghanaian, can arm himself to the extent of killing an indigene of Agogo.

It is unacceptable that Fulani herdsmen would continue to abuse our laws to the extent of engaging in armed robberies across the country.

We have learnt that a detachment of soldiers has been dispatched to the town to maintain law and order, or as it were support the Police in that direction.

A lasting solution is what can address these periodic yet lethal attacks by the Fulanis.

The indigenous people are angry and pushed to the wall. In this state, it can only be imagined what they would do in reprisal.

It is not enough to have security personnel descend upon the town without seeking a lasting solution to what has become a perennial challenge, which has led to loss of life and property.

Anytime a Fulani menace is recorded we are quick to arrange such ad-hoc security interventions, which though not out of place, does not offer the permanent solution required under the circumstances.

Is there no way local authorities across the country can be supported to manage Fulani herdsmen, who come to their areas to graze their cattle through registration and monitoring?

We can assure the national security authorities that not tackling this subject holistically is not an option, given the recurring nature of the challenge.

We cannot afford to sit down unconcerned as nomadic elements continue to wreak havoc and death on our compatriots.