Police in the Eastern region say it cannot make an arrest in the ensuing clashes at Odumase Krobo over the decision of Power Distribution Services (PDS) to disconnect residents there over unpaid bills.
Some angry youth at Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern region again clashed with the Police at Odumase krobo on Wednesday.
At least one person has reportedly been shot dead while five persons have sustained gunshot wounds, according to a local journalist.
Speaking to Atiewin Mbilla-Lawson, the PRO of the Eastern Regional Police Command said the situation was in such a way that it would be “foolhardy” to try and make an arrest.
“We are talking about close to about thousand people charging on police who the number is it is now we cannot match the kind of force that they are trying to charge on the police officers,” he said.
“For now the immediate to do is try and disperse these crowds and we will use all available means to do.”
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.
Injuries amidst warning shots
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.