Asante Akim-North District Police Commander, ASP Samuel Azugu has been relieved of his post following worsening security crisis involving nomadic herdsmen.
The transfer of ASP Azugu comes after the community leaders at Agogo in the Asante Akim North district of the Ashanti region said they have lost confidence in the police commander.
Adding his disapproval, the MP for the area, Andy Appiah-Kubi, accused the commander of being complicit in the security crisis that claimed eight lives in six days last October.
"The District Commander is inciting the herdsmen against our people. We have evidence that the herdsmen bring him beef. The commander also has cattle which the herdsmen are rearing for him," the NPP MP said.
"Even dogs here in Agogo don't want to work with him. He didn't help us. He could not help us," the MP said.
NPP MP Andy Appiah-Kubi
Andy Appiah-Kubi said he was happy with the transfer after he informed both Divisional and Regional Police Command of the need to replace the district commander.
His new replacement has been announced by the police service as DSP Joe Appiah.
DSP Joe Appiah
The transfer of the Agogo District Commander is the second in less than two years.
Agitations from the Agogo Youth Association led to the transfer of District Commander, ASP Asamoah Agyekum, who was accused of siding with the herdsmen.
ASP Asamoah Agyekum was replaced by ASP Samuel Azugu who has also been relieved of his post.
In a Joy News documentary, Violent Shepherds, Agogo Youth Association and the Concerned Citizens of Agogo claimed 65 natives of Agogo and settler farmers have been killed and many others maimed over the last 15 years.
This cannot, however, be independently verified by the police.
But Nhiyra FM's Ohemeng Tawiah reported that his checks revealed more than 40 locals have been killed and several others injured.
Some nomadic herdsmen have also fallen victim to the clashes.
The Paramount Chief of Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Akuoko Sarpong entered into an agreement to lease lands on the Agogo portion of the Afram Plains to four cattle owners on May 27, 2006, and January 15, 2008, respectively.
The cattle owners were Alhaji Ahmed Abdul Karimu Grunsah -Chief Executive Officer of King Faisal Football Club, Alhaji Ali Mamudu, Alhaji Fuseini Hassan and Alhaji Dauda Kassim.
Apart from Alhaji Dauda Kassim who was given a temporal permit, the remaining three were granted 50-year lease renewable for 25 and 50 years respectively.
Each was assigned between 30 and 50 acres of land.
But following an upsurge in crime and violent attacks on farmers, a Kumasi High Court on January 20, 2012, in a ‘’mandatory injunction” directed the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to “take immediate, decisive, efficacious and efficient action to flush out all cattle in the following villages and localities in the Agogo Traditional Area.”
They are; Abrewapong, Mankala, Nyamebekyere and Koweriso. The rest are Adoniem, Bebuso and Brahabebome.
The period between 2014 and 2016, however, has been bloody in Agogo over Government’s failure enforce the 2012 ruling by a High Court in Kumasi.
It has taken six Regional Ministers who chaired the Ashanti Regional Security Council in five years to implement what looked like a simple High Court order.
Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, Samuel Sarpong, Eric Opoku, Peter Anarfi Mensah and John Alexander Ackon, all under the NDC government. Enter Simon Osei-Mensah of the current NPP administration, and there is still no end in sight.
Security forces in Agogo were given a fresh test of the enormous challenge they face in the nomadic herdsmen menace after three soldiers were shot by some herdsmen Monday.
The three were transferred to the Komfo Anonkye Teaching Hospital (KATH) where they have undergone a medical procedure to remove pellets.
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