The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, has stated that the government takes a serious view of the misunderstanding between the Power Distribution Service (PDS) and the people of Odumase-Krobo.
He was speaking after paying a visit to the family of a 23-year-old man, Thomas Partey, who lost his life after being hit by a stray bullet when the police tried to disperse protesters at Manyakpongunor, a suburb of Odumase-Krobo.
According to the minister, the government understood the concerns of the people of Odumase-Krobo in their challenge to right the over-billing situation.
He said the government did not turn over the Electricity Company of Ghana to a concessionaire in order for the people to be ripped off but to rather correct lapses and losses in power distribution, adding that if the PDS was unable to do that, then it had no business operating in the country.
Mr Amewu said there were fundamental issues that led to the incident which needed to be investigated for the truth to come out once and for all.
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He said he knew very well that Krobos were disciplined people and that something might have gone wrong to trigger the violence.
“I have known Krobos for a very long time and they are not the type that foment trouble and so for them to act that way means there is something fundamentally wrong that needs to be investigated and corrected,” he stressed.
The Energy Minister also visited the Konor of Manya Krobo, Nene Sakite II, in his palace. Present at the meeting were divisional chiefs and the bereaved family.
He expressed the government’s condolence to the bereaved family and assured them that the government was with them in their moment of grief and would assist in the burial of and the funeral rites for the deceased.
Mr Amewu urged the people and all concerned not to play politics with the matter at hand, since doing so would rather muddy the waters and not offer solutions.
“The PDS is not independent and those who want to use the issue to play politics should stop because that will not help solve the problem. A committee will be set up to establish the cause very soon,” he said.
He thanked Nene Sakite for his role in bringing about calm during the crisis and was hopeful that he would continue in that effort until a lasting solution was found to the problem.
He subsequently donated 500 streetlights to the traditional authority.
For his part, Nene Sakite thanked the minister for coming to see things for himself and assured him that he would continue to dialogue with stakeholders to find a solution to the impasse.
The Head of the bereaved family, Mr Natey Partey, blamed the erstwhile ECG for the pile up of huge bills which were at the centre of the problem.
He said even though he drew the attention of staff of the ECG that his meter constantly read 004 units, they refused to check but rather forwarded to him later a huge bill of GH¢7,221.
The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Simon Kweku Tetteh, who accompanied the minister on his rounds, also gave an assurance to work and find an amicable solution to the problem.
He appealed to the youth not to do anything that would mar the peace that had been restored in Odumase-Krobo and other places in the district.
The Energy Minister ensured that areas such as Manyakpongunor, Yohe and others that were disconnected from the national electricity grid were reconnected in his presence.