Eastern

Krobo chiefs denounce ‘yentua’ electricity bill agitators

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Nene Sakite II, Konor of Manya Krobo

The Manya Krobo Traditional Council has dissociated itself from the act of hooliganism being perpetrated by a section of the residents who have resolved not to pay for the electricity they have consumed for the past seven years. The Council also wants National Security to investigate the leaders and their motive.

This was contained in a press release issued by the Council, dated November 29, 2021, and signed by the Konor of Manya Krobo Traditional Area, Nene Sakite II, who doubles as the President of the Eastern Region House of Chiefs.

The group, United Krobo Foundation, has on numerous occasions launched physical attacks on the offices of the Electricity Company of Ghana at Somanya, and, in one of the disturbances, a resident was shot dead by the police at Odumase Krobo, near the local Assembly premises.

Reason being that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), between 2014 and 2017, presented the Krobos with outrageous bills which could not be associated with the power consumed. In the heat of the disturbances, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) intervened and came out with proposals to reconcile the bills to mitigate the effect of settling the huge arrears.

The PURC suggested that such arrears, depending on the duration to be agreed, could be cleared either in five years or more. The state utilities body also proposed that the genuinely consumed outstanding bills for 2018 to 2021 should also be paid in bits, but the group kicked against it.

The Foundation insisted that the Akosombo and Kpong hydroelectric dams had been built on Krobo lands, and as a result, they were exempted from paying electricity bills. Their latest action was a two-week ultimatum to the ECG to pack and leave the Krobo District, and that the Volta River Authority (VRA) should supply them with power instead.

Information The Chronicle gathered from the two Krobo Traditional Areas, Manya and Yilo, suggest that the ECG had moved all ite customer service staff to Juapong to comply with the ultimatum.

Meanwhile, the following is the full press statement released by the Traditional Council.

The Manya Krobo Traditional Council has learnt that a group of people under the guise of an association called ‘United Krobo Foundation’ mounted a demonstration against the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Volta River Authority (VRA) on Monday November 22, 2021 in Somanya through the streets of Odumase.

Ironically, they claimed that it is the right of Krobos to desist from the payment of electricity bills: so they have been seducing the general public to refuse payment of utility bills.

Although individuals are entitled to freedom of movement and association as enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana, it is apparent that this group is becoming subversive and dangerous to National Security.

During the past four years, the Manya Krobo Traditional Council engaged them and advised the leaders to stop their nefarious activities against the state but they clandestinely continued to operate and incite the public because they benefit from it.

It was through one of these demonstrations that a few innocent people lost their lives through their encounter with the police in Somanya and Odumase yet they did not relent.

The leadership claimed that the chiefs of Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Ghana that after 50 years of the construction of the Akosombo dam, Krobos are entitled to enjoy free electricity consumption.

This assertion is a fallacy.

There had never been any such agreement that we are aware of. They are simply becoming recalcitrant.

The Manya Krobo Paramountcy and the traditional council wish to dissociate themselves from the unjustifiable demonstrations. Further, we learnt that the demonstrators agitated that ECG should wind up and quit Krobo lands.

The Paramountcy and the traditional council wish to condemn that totally.

That nobody has the right to proclaim any ban on a legally constituted public establishment in this country from operating in Krobo land. We are therefore appealing to the National Security apparatus to investigate the circumstances leading to this unwarranted crisis, the leaders and their motive. On another note, we continue to edge ECG to expedite the resolution of all outstanding issues to bring sanity to our arrears.

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