An attempt by the Power Distribution Company (PDS) to recover Gh¢84 million debt owed the company in Krobo land in the Eastern Region turned bloody Wednesday afternoon with the killing of a young boy.
The police in the Eastern Region has since confirmed the killing which occurred at Agormanya Wednesday afternoon.
A similar exercise of collecting arrears or disconnecting meters of those who have defaulted in payment of electricity bills in Kpong and Nuaso, two communities also in Kroboland was successful in the previous week.
However, upon entering Kpongunu, a suburb of Odumase-krobo on Monday, some youth massed up and attacked the PDS officials from the Krobo District and their police escort and prevented them from carrying out the exercise.
On Wednesday, when the PDS team attempted to disconnect power supply to areas owing electricity bills at Agormanya, the staff was met with stiff resistance at the and the personnel were chased out by irate youth despite police escort.
They, however, called for police reinforcement and the police reportedly responded with gunshots after the irate youth reportedly hurled stones at them.
In the process, the deceased, said to be a teenager, who sells sachet water was shot dead.
According to some eyewitnesses, the lifeless body of the deceased, said be about 14-years-old was still lying on the road as of 6pm.
He was said to have been hit by a bullet whilst selling sachet water during the protest.
Three other persons are said to have also been injured.
All injuries were from gunshot wounds in a melee between stone-throwing residents and gun-wielding police officers.
Responding to Monday’s incident for instance, the Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Ebenezer Tetteh said “ on receipt of the report, police quickly mobilised and got to the scene where about 500 youth were met amidst chanting and singing of war songs and blocked the road with wood logs.
Police quickly moved in and cleared the road for free vehicular and human traffic movements.
However, DSP Tetteh said some youth who were not happy about the police action started pelting stones and other missiles at the police personnel.
But for the timely reinforcement from the divisional command led by ACP Mr C B Bediako and CTU led by DSP Mr Otumi, the situation could have escalated.
“Meanwhile the situation is being monitored. Men based at Nuaso police station on standby for any eventuality”, DSP Tetteh stated.
An eye witness who is also an opinion leader in the community alleged that the residents led by a man popularly known as Alhaji started beating the ‘ ‘Nadu’ war drums which is believed to make people fearless as soon as the PDS personnel entered the community.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said “I also come from here but I totally disagree with what my people are doing.
He said some of the residents had failed to pay their electricity bills for two years now following a similar violent clash with the then Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in 2017.
At that time, some of my people had complained of overbilling by the ECG which led to the violent clashes, he stated.
When contacted, the Tema Regional Director of the PDS, Mr Edward Okyere confirmed the incident and said the company would re-strategise to collect the debt.
He said even though residents owed so much, the did not want the PDS personnel to disconnect their electricity which generated the scuffle.