Cocoa farmers from 17 communities in the Wassa-Fiase Divisional Area have appealed to Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the government to stop soldiers from terrorizing innocent farmers and the wanton destruction of their cocoa farms and other arable crops.
Clad in black and red bands, the irate farmers told a news conference at Sekyere-Hemang that the Chief of Komenda, a town with which they share a border, had encroached on 613.147 acres of land and sold it to the Western Naval Commander and some of his men for rubber plantations.
The spokesperson of the group, Mr Stephen Kuma Angu, who is the Assembly Member for Sekyere-Hemang, said the presence of the soldiers on their farmlands was posing a threat to cocoa production.
He said the farmers were in the house for about three months without working on their cocoa farms.
Mr Angu noted that the bullying tactics by the Western Naval Command had adversely affected cocoa production in the District.
He implored Cocobod to step in to save farmers from the hardships they were going through.
Another cocoa farmer and Women’s representative in the area, Madam Esi Asiedu, who shared similar sentiments, said the presence of armed military men parading their farms, had brought the cocoa business to a standstill reeling untold hardships on them.
She said for the past three months, farming activities had come to a halt, threatening livelihoods.
A Youth Representative of Sekyere-Hemang, Mr Kwaku Aboagye said but for the timely intervention of the Divisional Chief who in conjunction with the cocoa farmers organized the news conference, the youth in the communities would have faced the soldiers boot for boot on their farmlands.
The Divisional Chief of Wassa-Fiase Traditional Area, Nana Dasebre Kwado Kyerefo III, urged the Chief of Komenda to move the soldiers away from his land and stop trespassing the boundary to sell his land to the military command.
He also entreated President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Minister for the Interior and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to step in to resolve the border dispute in a bid to avoid imminent bloodshed between his subjects and the soldiers.