Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building, has charged government to foster deeper collaboration with the Fulani community in Ghana so that, together, they can be partners for peaceful co-existence and development.
In a statement signed by Adib Saani, the Executive Director of the Centre, it stated that Ghanaian authorities need to do more to protect minority groups in the country so, they don’t become vulnerable to terrorists.
The Centre called on the media to also be circumspect in their reportage as that influences negative stereotypes. It added that, it is unfair to paint all Fulanis with “a single stroke of brush” because of the actions of a negligible few.
“A lot of Ghanaians need education on the history of Fulanis in Ghana. Everybody comes from somewhere. The first census, held in 1891, in Ghana reported Fulani communities. Most Fulanis seen today are 3rd or 4th generation Fulanis whose forefathers lived in Ghana way before independence, like the 2nd lady of the Republic, Hajia Samira Bawumia. Not all Fulanis are foreigners.”Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building
Jatikay Centre posited that Fulanis are regularly “victims” of ethnically-based stereotypes, prejudices, violence and discrimination within the Ghanaian society. According to the Security Centre, till date, families of victims are still anticipating justice, with some having completely lost hope of that ever happening.
“In Gushegu in 2014, 14 Fulanis were killed with their houses burned. In Gulumpe and Babato, 25 Fulanis were also killed. In 2019, in Bagurugu in the Northern Region, 68 homes belonging to Fulanis were destroyed. In 2021 alone, Fulanis in Chamba in the Nanumba North District were attacked and their cows, numbering about 500, were killed, among several other incidents.”Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building
Some Fulanis being denied services
Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building revealed that there are also reports of some Fulanis being denied services such as Ghana Card registration, healthcare delivery, and passport acquisition. It disclosed that Fulanis in areas such as Sampa and Zabzugu have allegedly had their Ghanaian passports seized by immigration officials under the pretext that they can’t be Ghanaian.
“Marginalization is a major cause of insurgency, as characterized in Burkina Faso and Mali. When a minority group feels let down by the state and their fundamental rights are thrown to the dogs, they fight back eventually. The struggle of the Azawads in Mali stems from long lasting grievances of marginalization.”Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building
Touching on the recent killings of some Fulanis in Zakoli in Yendi, the Centre expressed shock at the inability of the Ghana Police Service to arrest a single suspect days after the incident. The Centre indicated that not even a statement has been issued by the Police in respect of the crime.
“Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building has noted with grave concern the unending cycle of violence against Fulani communities in Ghana and the seeming Police inaction in arresting perpetrators. About a week ago, a mob numbering about 100, attacked and killed 9 Fulanis at Zakoli, a suburb of Yendi. Some of the victims were shot at close range and others burnt alive. “Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building
The Centre indicated that they have had the opportunity to interview some leaders of the Fulani Community in Ghana and they appear to be having a hectic job appealing to their fellows to remain calm. According to the Fulanis, their peace advocacy in the face of the attacks is proving ineffective because of the inaction of the Police in arresting the culprits.
Jatikay intimated that the current situation obviously poses a major threat to the security of the state. The Centre explained that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has resulted in many of the residents of the communities in that area being “armed to the teeth”.
According to Jatikay Centre, should the Fulanis stage revenge attacks, it could start a full-blown conflict. The Centre intimated that already, there are many human insecurities that have pushed a lot of young people in the area into uncertainty.
“Any trigger can cause these young people to explode into open belligerence as they already do not have much to live for.”Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building