22 May 2019

Ghana: Irate Manya Kpongunor Youths, Police Clash Over Electricity Disconnection

Three persons have been injured while another is in the grips of the Nuaso District Police, following a pandemonium that marred a mass disconnection exercise by the Power Distribution Service (PDS) in the Lower Manya Krobo municipality of the Eastern Region.

This came about when on Monday, some irate youths of Manya Kpongunor, a suburb of Odumase Krobo, chased the staff of PDS, who in the company of policemen went to carry out the exercise.

The police allegedly fired warning shots and tear gas into the crowd, who had blocked the Kpong-Somanya road with wood, and pelted the police with stones.

Residents of Lower Manya Krobo have since 2017 refused to pay their electricity tariff, and demonstrated against the then Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) over what they described as overbilling.

Their action resulted in the destruction of properties belonging to the ECG and a vehicle belonging to the Somanya police.

The residents petitioned the ECG to scrap the bills to no avail.

The youth of Kpongunor became agitated when electricity to some houses in Kpong, Nuaso and its environs, were disconnected from the national grid in an exercise, which started on May 13, 2019.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the clash with the police started after some youth reportedly chased staff of PDS who were carrying out the disconnection exercise.

He indicated that the clash led to the injury of three persons, who were rushed to the hospital, after the police allegedly fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

A police reinforcement team from Akosombo and Akropong helped to restore calm as the youth outnumbered the police of Odumase and Nuaso, who were assisting in the disconnection exercise.

The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), EbenezerTetteh, confirmed the incident to the Ghanaian Times.

He said when officials of PDS reached Manya Kpongunor, some youth attacked them and the police escort.

DSP Tetteh said police in an attempt to clear the road for free flow of vehicular and human traffic, came under attack by the irate youths, who threw stones and other 'missiles' at the police.

He said the Nuaso, Odumase and Nuaso police with the help of a team of reinforcement from the Divisional Command brought the situation under control.

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