Supply of electricity has, reportedly, been restored to all the Krobo towns in the Eastern Region, after sleeping in the dark for almost a week. The residents had accused the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) of deliberately cutting power supply after packing bag and baggage and leaving the area to settle at Juapong in the Volta Region.
The ECG, however, denied the accusation, insisting that it did nothing to truncate supply of power to the residents. The power company admitted that it had moved its offices to Juapong following threats on the lives of its staff.
A section of the Krobo youth claim because the Akosombo and Kpong Hydro Dams were located in their area, they had done enough sacrifice for the country and must, therefore, be exempted from paying electricity bills.
To press home the demand for non-payment of electricity bills, the youth went on violent demonstrations, which resulted in some deaths. Though the chiefs, custodians of the land, have denied the existence of any agreement that says the people must not pay electricity bills, the youth remain adamant.
What appears to have broken the camel’s hump is the recent threat on the lives of the ECG staff by the same youth. Since the past threats resulted in a violent attack on its offices, the ECG also said enough is enough, and, therefore, decided to relocate from the Krobo enclave to Juapong, which is just across the Volta River.
The Chronicle understands the latest development compelled the chiefs to send a delegation to the ECG Head Office in Accra to find an amicable solution to the problem, especially the curtailment of power supply to the area.
The position of the ECG, we are further told, was that of security and that so long as the people can guarantee protection their staff, who will come to work on the lines, they will work around the clock to detect faults that have occurred and restore power. The issue of the ECG returning to the enclave has, however, been ruled out since the power company has put up a modern office at Juapong to cater for Ho West and the Krobo towns.
The Chronicle is, however, happy that, after all these accusations and counter-accusations, the ECG has moved to the area to repair faults that occurred on the lines and restored power to the people. Despite the belligerent stance that has been adopted by a section of the youth resulting in the unfortunate development, Krobo areas are part of Ghana and must not be denied access to the national grid.
They have the right to enjoy supply of power, as other parts of the country. We are glad that the ECG did not make any public statement to the effect that the power was deliberately put off as a form of punishment – that would have been below the belt. But, no matter what has happened, it is our considered view that the people of Krobo land must still pay their bills.
What they need to do now is to sit down with the power distributors and hone out an amicable settlement of the issue.
The Chronicle also expects the police to maintain its presence in the area to prevent anyone or group of persons from taking the law into their hands to cause mayhem. We are aware that the Inspector General of Police, Mr George Akufo-Dampare, has visited Somanya and other places to warn the youth to stay clear of violence.
Though the people appear to have shown remorse over what has happened after the IGP had spoken to them, it is still dangerous for the police to drop their guard thinking that the people have ‘repented their sins.’
Since Ghana belongs to us all, we have the responsibility to ensure that there is peace in the country. The people living in the Krobo areas must, therefore, cooperate with both the ECG and police to ensure lasting peace.