The Eastern Regional Police Command says it was necessary to apply force on agitating residence of Krobo-Odumasi town who clashed with the police in an attempt to switch off the main transformer that supplies electric power to the town.
The clash which occurred on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 has claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy whose lifeless body has been deposited at the morgue while several others sustained injuries.
Some policemen have also sustained various degrees of injuries and are also receiving treatment.
Eastern Region Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSP Ebenezer Tetteh, who spoke on Joy FM, indicated that some of the policemen came under threat and at a point had to defend themselves.
“The police initially deployed canisters which did not work. Some of the policemen came under threat, some have sustained serious injuries so at a point the police had to defend themselves, and they did so. Except that the self-defense was not to fire directly at the people. But the police had to defend themselves and they did so.,” he said.
According to eyewitnesses, the confrontation with the police begun when a scuffle ensued between the officers of the Power Distribution Services (PDS) who were detailed to carry out a disconnection exercise in the town.
The police, who were escorting these officers were there to provide protection for the PDS officials from the irate residents who had mounted roadblocks to prevent the PDS officials from gaining access to the transformer.
This resulted in a heated confrontation between the police and the people.
This subsequently turned violent where the police claim the people allegedly threw stones, bottles and all kinds objects at them. This prompted them to act smart with an appropriate measure of force to protect themselves from further harm.
According to ASP Ebenezer Tetteh, the police is doing all it can to bring peace to the town.
The disconnection of the town from the national grid was occasioned by the non-payment of bills which has piled up since 2014.
The new power management company, PDS which just took over from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), is bent on recovering all debts owed the company in order to restore life into the ailing power distribution system at the moment.
The country is currently undergoing a subtle power instability challenges which has been attributed to financial challenges facing the power sector.
Though government has vehemently denied these allegations, opposition NDC in Parliament have insisted that the challenges facing the power sector is more of financial than technical.