E/R: 35 arrested in Krobo PDS riot
The Eastern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) led by the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfuor and the Eastern Regional Police Commander, COP Alphonse Adu Amankwah have stormed the troubled Lower Manya Krobo Municipality following spontaneous deadly riots in the area triggered by disconnection exercise by Power Distribution Services (PDS).
REGSEC first held a meeting with MUSEC Chaired by the Municipal Chief Executive for Lower Manya Krobo, Simon Kwaku Tetteh before proceeding to the Palace of the Paramount Chief of Manya Krobo, Nene Sakitey II.
Accompanying him was a delegation from PDS in Manya Krobo Area.
Meanwhile, the Lower Manya Krobo District Assembly has called off its scheduled Assembly Meeting despite the arrival of some Assembly Members.
About 35 suspects were arrested in Wednesday’s bloody riot.
The youth organized a spontaneous protest to petition the Municipal Chief Executive for the Area, Kwaku Simon Tetteh, on their concerns on over billing by PDS and its ongoing mass disconnection exercise.
The youth had earlier on Wednesday morning mounted road blocks and pelted the PDS Staff with stones and sticks at Yohe, a community near Odumase Krobo when PDS staff went to the community to discontinue its mass disconnection exercise.
The irate youth smashed a PDS Nissan Pick Up with Registration Number GV 2318-1. It took the intervention of armed Police personnel to rescue the PDS staff.
The PDS staff decided to switch off the transformer cutting off power supply to the entire area.
Shortly after the attack, the angry youth mobilized to embark on a protest to petition the MCE but the armed Police rushed to protect the Municipal Assembly Office by preventing the youth from entering the premises.
This has led to clashes between the youth and the Police. Many warnings shots have been fired to disperse the youth who are also attacking the Police with stones and other implements.
Three people were injured after a similar chaos Monday at Manya Kpongunor over mass disconnection exercise by Power Distribution Services (PDS).
Reports indicated that the Police reinforcement team fired tear gas after they were attacked by the youth.
PDS is embarking on a mass disconnection exercise with armed Police personnel in Somanya, Odumase Krobo and its environs.
The exercise dubbed “Revenue Mobilization” according to Somanya District Manager of PDS Ing. Edward Ochire, has become necessary due to the failure by many residents to pay their electricity bills since 2017. A situation he said has led to revenue shortfalls of the company.
Hundreds of houses have been disconnected in the ongoing exercise which started May 13, 2019 from Kpong and Nuaso communities.
One person was put behind bars for attempting to resist disconnection of his house. Since the exercise began, many of the affected residents have been trooping to the offices of PDS to pay their accumulated bills ranging between Ghc3, 000 and Ghc 20,000
There has been long standing feud between residents and workers of ECG now PDS .In 2017, angry residents in Somanya attacked PDS office for over billing.
Police vehicles were torched and properties destroyed in the violent attacks. Many residents have since refused to pay electricity bills and have threatened to attack PDS staff who attempt disconnecting their homes.