Particularly, they moved into Ghana because there was very little resistance from the Ghanaian community to their advances. And usually, they come with very large herds of cattle. Sometimes, as many as five hundred cattle are found grazing in one area. The local people lose their cattle to them because when the big herds encounter the smaller herds, they just drive them alongside their own herds and the farmers are unable to separate their cattle from theirs.
In addition to this, because of their belligerent nature, if you look at it historically the Sokoto caliphate -- the Hausa Fulani, have generally been very warlike people and even though it is a historical fact, in current times, they are still as belligerent as they used to be.
Consequently, with their superior arms, they are able to overcome the local farmers most of whom only have cudgels and sticks. As a result of this, the local farmers actually require protection from the state, otherwise the entire cattle industry in Northern Ghana would soon be devastated. It is in the light of this that I would like to support the Statement made by my hon. Colleague and also the suggestion made by the ECOWAS Parliament representative, hon. Manu.
I think it is a serious matter and our Government should act more seriously in Northern Ghana in particular and the Afram Plains that have become the main areas of activity. And unless something is done, and pretty soon, our farmers would not only lose their cattle, the grazing land in the north would be completely devastated because there is no re-grazing or re-grassing the pastures in Northern
Apart from that, most of the farmers who store their crops after harvest incur a lot of losses because when the Fulani herdsmen pass through the farms, they just remove the millet that are kept in the barns to feed their cattle and the local people are helpless.
I believe that there is the need for the Ghana Immigration Service to also do something about apprehending them because they are unauthorized immi- grants. Even though there is the ECOWAS Protocol, I think there are various rules that must be obeyed in crossing territorial boundaries.
In this respect, once again, I support the Statement made by my hon. Colleague.
Mr. M. D. Baah (PNc -- Sissala
East): Mr. Speaker, I come from the Sissala district which borders Burkina Faso. Indeed, my district capital is only about 18 miles from the nearest district capital in Burkina Faso.
For many years, as has been stated, the Fulani herdsmen have been a menace in my district. Indeed, they have caused so much pain and havoc to the people in my district. But Mr. Speaker, I think we need to re-examine the issue of Fulani herdsmen. In fact, previous Governments, and even this Government, have taken so many steps to try and curb the menace of the Fulani herdsmen; but what is happening?
Mr. Speaker, I believe that the Fulani herdsmen did not just enter our territory on their own. They are aided by our own people, sometimes even by our chiefs,
by public officers, by the police, by the District Assemblies, by Assembly members. I think that until everyone of us is willing to check the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, we cannot get rid of them.
So Mr. Speaker, when we are talking of Fulani herdsmen, sometimes, I remember the issue of rape. In fact, they rape our women when they go to pick sheanuts. They maim the men who are daring enough to challenge them because they go up there armed with guns, sometimes with cutlasses. The most serious thing is that they are cutting down economic trees such as shea trees. Even dawadawa trees are being cut down and everyone is watching helplessly. So Mr. Speaker, I believe that this is a wake-up call to our leaders, particularly in the districts, those districts bordering Burkina Faso and other countries where the Fulani herdsmen come from.
I remember just recently, when I went to my constituency, a delegation of officials from Burkina Faso came to my constituency, to meet the District Chief Executive to complain about even our local people sometimes also harassing the Fulani herdsmen. But I think the burden is on us, as a country, to work on all the necessary protocols that would either facilitate their coming here or to discourage them from coming into our country.
Mr. Speaker, I think the issue of Fulani herdsmen is a very major issue, a very important issue that needs to be addressed because it cuts across the entire country. I am aware that the Afram Plains currently hosts a lot of them and they are creating so much pain and havoc to our people; so we need to work seriously at it. Our opinion leaders, as I said, need to sit up. They need to really work at getting rid of these Fulani herdsmen.