IT WAS a charged atmosphere at Agogo in the Asante Akim North district of the Ashanti Region yesterday when the youth in the town stormed the palace of the Omanhene, Nana Akouko Sarpong, claiming to have destooled him.
Clad in red attires, the charged youth, amidst singing and drumming, made their way to the palace in the early morning to demand the destoolment of Nana Akuoko Sarpong.
The youth, in spite of the absence of the police, comported themselves when they entered the palace as they refused to touch anything in the magnificent building.
Holding placards, the energetic youth insisted that the Council of State member be destooled as the paramount chief of the area.
Some of the placards read, ‘Nana Akuoko Sarpong, Your Days As Omanhene Of This Area Are Over’, ‘Nana Akuoko, You Are Wicked Because You Love Fulani Herdsmen More Than Your People’, ‘Nana Akuoko, Why Are You Doing This To Us’ among others.
According to the youth, the town was fed up with the reign of the chief.
They therefore tasked the kingmakers to immediately initiate the necessary traditional rites to symbolize his destoolment because they could no longer tolerate him as the paramount chief of the area.
The demonstrators explained that their chief had amply demonstrated that he had the welfare of the Fulani herdsmen at heart more than the natives of the area.
They claimed that the eviction of the Fulani herdsmen from the area was unsuccessful because of the tactics employed by the paramount chief, which disenabled the detailed security personnel from working more effectively.
The unwavering youth claimed that had Nana Akuoko Sarpong not dragged six of the cattle owners plying their trade in the area to court for violating conditions specified in their stay in the area, the security men detailed to the area to undertake the eviction of the Fulani herdsmen would have done their job to perfection.
They contended that because the case was still pending in a Kumasi High court, the security personnel were handicapped in driving the Fulani herdsmen away.
Nana Akuoko Sarpong, in 2006, entered an agreement with six major cattle owners for their occupation in the area for 50 years, based on condition that they would fence their animals and also provide water for them.
This was to ensure that the animals did not trespass on farms to destroy produce in search of grass and water, a condition which the Fulani herdsmen allegedly violated.
When the residents of the town started agitating for the expulsion of the Fulani herdsmen from the area due to their destructive tendencies, including the destruction of farmlands, rape and murder, the paramount chief dragged the cattle owners he had an agreement with to court.
Though the case has been pending in the court for some time now, its final determination has not been made, therefore making it extremely difficult for the security personnel deployed for the eviction operation to carry on with their duties.
The youth, led by their leaders, have petitioned the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to listen to their cry and consent to the destoolment of the paramount chief.
Agitations for the expulsion of the Fulani herdsmen by the residents have been raging on, thereby compelling the national security to deploy troops to the area for that exercise.
The decision to relocate the Fulani herdsmen, who have been operating in the area since 1987, to a different area within the traditional area, has been met with fierce resistance by the residents.
According to them, they did not want the Fulani herdsmen in any part of the area because they could not trust the Fulani to be of good behavior due to their past record.
Source: Morgan Owusu, Kumasi
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