A leading member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region, Alhaji Nuhu Dicko, has called on all institutions, particularly political parties and the government, to show interest in the discourse of the Fulani menace to help bring unity as the November elections draw nearer.
He said the perception that Fulanis in the country, particularly at Asante Akyem Agogo and in parts of Sekyere Afram Plains, all in the Ashanti Region, as well as the Kwahu-Afram Plains North in the Eastern Region, were all criminals and not law-abiding was wrong.
This has become a problem because "not all Fulanis are herdsmen and not all herdsmen in the country are Fulanis" and that representing the Fulani tribe with a few unlawful Fulani herdsmen in cattle rearing areas in the country is uncalled for and undeserving.
These are the sentiments shared by the senior member of the NDC with the Daily Graphic in an interview last Monday.
He said he believed such a wrong perception posed a threat to “our body politic and national development in its entirety”.
“This problem, stemming from this wrong perception is affecting some Fulanis who are good citizens and law-abiding people going about their duties and contributing their quota to national development in Ghana,” he stated.
Alhaji Dicko, who contested the Ahafo Ano South-West Constituency parliamentary primary of the party but lost, noted that the wrong perception of Fulanis, if not checked, could mar the progress of political parties in that constituency and even beyond.
Alhaji Dicko, himself a Fulani, who was born and bred in Ghana, is a founder member of the NDC in Italy, 2012 parliamentary candidate for Atwima Nwabiagya South, a member of the elections committee in the Ashanti Region (2014) and a member of the disciplinary committee of the NDC in Ashanti Region.
He said there were Fulanis who were not herdsmen but businessmen, heads of departments, legislators, teachers, among other professional, occupying very important offices affected by this negative perception, for which they are likely to hide their Fulani descent.
Among them were those who had entered politics and were even in frontline positions in political parties in the country.
He added that there were Fulanis in the NDC, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Peoples National Congress (PNC) among other parties who are also occupying similar positions.
Alhaji Dicko used himself as an example when he said as a person of Fulani origin who is not a herdsman but law-abiding citizen, he was affected by this negative perception when he contested the Ahafo Ano South-West NDC parliamentary primary in 2015.
He narrated the ordeal he went through and even lost the contest when his Fulani identity was used as a campaign tool against him, branding him as “a criminal thief and rapist,” descriptions associated with Fulani herdsmen.
As if that was not enough, more dangerously for him, he told this reporter a photograph of his face was cloned and used to represent the face of a cow on a Continued from page 1 poster which went round the constituency in the run-up to the primary.
This, he recounted, contributed to his loss, a practice he deemed “uncivilised, undemocratic and unconstitutional” and which, to him, would not help the country’s democratic dispensation.
Impact on the November Elections
Alhaji Dicko expressed worry that he lost a parliamentary primary for the mere reason of being a Fulani.
“And this could have dire consequences for other Fulanis in other political parties ahead of the November elections, assuming Fulanis in the constituency and elsewhere decide not to vote”, he stated.
This, he explained, meant a number of Fulanis and their associate tribes in that constituency and any other constituency would feel intimidated and discriminated against.
Asked what he had done about the development, Alhaji Dicko said he had informed the leadership of the NDC at the constituency, regional and even hinted some national party functionaries about it and on many occasions tried to solve the problem but all to no avail.
Source: Daily Graphic
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