Agogo Crisis: DCE Charges residents to protect themselves

(AGOGO) District Chief Executive for Asante Akim North is asking residents to protect themselves against possible attacks from nomadic herdsmen.

Paul Kingsley Averu charged residents especially farmers to move in groups as attacks by nomadic herdsmen continue this week.

At least, four people; three nomadic herdsmen and one indigene have been killed this week alone at Agogo.

Five indigenes have been killed in the last three months.

Three other locals received gunshot wounds in the latest reprisal attacks.

The attacks at Kowereso saw two nomadic herdsmen being shot on Tuesday afternoon whilst a similar one at Salamkrom killed and wounded some indigenes and herdsmen respectively.

The attacks come as security personnel escort about 1000 cattle out of Agogo as a March 31 ultimatum issued by traditional authorities to all cattle owners to remove their cattle draws closer.

Mr.  Averu who heads the District Security Council asked residents to adopt self-protection measures as a police-military team increase patrol.

“If it were you and you know there are bad people around, what would you have done? They should do whatever you have to do to protect yourself”  Mr Averu made these comments on Luv FM’s Burning Issues hosted by David Akwetey Wednesday.

When the host probed further on whether indigenes should acquire arms to protect themselves, the DCE parried the questions, saying he didn’t know about that.

“I don’t know about that. The cutlass is also a weapon. Isn’t it? Whichever way”.

At times it is not necessary just holding an implement but even your demeanor; the way you are able to communicate with him [attacker] and the rest, is a way of disarming people.

He continued, “You and I know that as a rational human being, anybody thinks about his security; whatever you do to secure yourself.

“But the most important thing is that, they should move in groups. You know if they come to meet you in groups, they dare not. That’s the most effective thing you can think of. But any other way of protecting yourself is not for me to say”.

Also on the same programme, football administrator and a cattle owner, Alhaji Karim Grusah took a swipe at the host for asking where the cattle would be sent to after they have been removed from Agogo.

He had earlier warned he would hang up a phone if the host continued interviewing on what could be done to restore peace between cattle owners, nomadic herdsmen and indigenes of Agogo.

Alhaji Grusah accused journalists of bias in their reportages.

Meanwhile, Mr. Averu says dialogue has been identified as one of the effective tools to bring a lasting peace in the area.

According to him, a meeting between the Security Council and nomadic herdsmen is scheduled for this week.