General News Sat, 25 May 2019

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Order PDS to restore our electricity – Krobo residents to government

Residents of Kpongunor, Yohe, Sokwonya, Manam, Seinsi, among other areas plunged into darkness by PDS officials in the Lower Manya Krobo municipality wants government to call PDS to order and restore their electricity power.

Residents have been without power since Wednesday as PDS officials have switched off transformers supplying power to the afore-mentioned areas following bloody clashes with the residents.

According to the residents, the power cut to the enclave is not only affecting households but also businesses.

They said they are ready to pay electricity bill but want the outrageous bill reviewed downwards.

“…All what we are saying is for PDS to review the billing for us to pay the actual bills. PDS I’ve been hearing them that they have corrected; they’re lying. See we went to their offices and when you go they toss you around and because you don’t know into their system when you go then they open the computer and you don’t know what they’re doing and ask you to come and pay. So what we are saying is that PDS you just came, whether you are ECG disguise or what, you just came. We’ve been paying bills with ECG and the problem came. Now we will pay but if you think you’ll use intimidation, to force us to pay what we shouldn’t pay, we say we won’t pay. If you like come and kill the whole community, if you like bring Ghana Army, we don’t care; we won’t pay. If you correct the bills, we will pay,” an aggrieved resident told Kasapa FM.

Angry youth of Kpongunor 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 led to clashes between the youth and the Police. Many warnings shots were fired to disperse the youth who also attacked the Police with stones and other implements.

Thirty-five(35) persons were arrested during the riot.

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.

Source: Kasapa FM

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