Eastern Regional caucus of the opposition National Democartic Congress (NDC) is demanding an immediate sacking of the municipal chief executive of the Odumase-Krobo area for his role in the shooting incident that to led to the death of a 14-year-old boy yesterday.
In a press release signed by Regional Secretary Mark-Oliver Kevor, the NDC described yesterday’s high-handedness of the Ghana Police as shameful which “casts a slur on our image as a reputable democratic state.”
“Particular, we condemn the Municipal Chief Executive’s inability to exercise leadership on this delicate matter when approached by Chiefs, Opinion leaders and some Youth groups of the area, but fiendishly called on the police to visit this high levels of brutalities on these vulnerable residents. We call on the President who is supposed to be a human right advocate and a father to all Ghanaians, to immediately sack his representative- the MCE, if he fails to resign.” the statement said.
Residents of the Odumase-Krobo yesterday clashed with the police when they refused attempts to disconnect their electricity by Power Distribution Services for some outstanding bills they vehemently contest.
The clashes recorded the brutal shooting to death of a 14-year-old boy with nine sustaining critical degrees of injuries and 35 youths being held in police custody currently.
The NDC says the shooting of unarmed residents on a peaceful demonstration was uncalled for. The police in the eastern region said they had to mobilise to defend themselves as the residents were wielding very offensive weapons.
The full text of the NDC’s press release is reproduced;
SHOOTING OF ODUMASE-KROBO RESIDENTS HIGHLY CONDEMNABLE
The Eastern Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress condemns without mincing words, the shooting of vulnerable unarmed residents of Lower Manya Krobo who were only embarking on a peaceful armless protest to urge the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Company for a downward review of their bills. This inhumane act is very shameful and casts a slur on our image as a reputable democratic state.
Particular, we condemn the Municipal Chief Executive’s inability to exercise leadership on this delicate matter when approached by Chiefs, Opinion leaders and some Youth groups of the area, but fiendishly called on the police to visit this high levels of brutalities on these vulnerable residents.
We call on the President who is supposed to be a human right advocate and a father to all Ghanaians, to immediately sack his representative- the MCE, if he fails to resign.
Similarly, we condemn the Power Distribution Services company’s brutish approach to retrieving accumulated bills from poor residents, by resorting to brute force, an accumulation due to their own systems failure.
We also condemn the arrest of about thirty-five (35) young people by the Ghana Police in an attempt to cover up this shameful act of violence on their part by using them as scape goats. At least three persons have been confirmed dead, with nine people in critical condition and several others sustaining various levels of injury due to this unprofessional reckless shootings.
We, as a matter of urgency, demand the release of these 35 young people currently in their custody to avert further chaos.
The National Democratic Congress calls for calm in the Odumase vicinity as we all take steps to help deal with the billing issues which is the root cause of these atrocities. It would be remembered that these escalated electricity bills due to the then ECG’s software malfunction became a thorny campaign issue in 2016 with the then Parliamentary Candidate of the NPP, now the deputy Regional Minister promising to quash those debts and allowing residents to pay for only current bills. It is on this background that residents have demanded for a relaxed schedule of payment to enable them meet their obligations. This demand, we believe, is fair and must not be met with such brutalities and brute force. In whatever case, civil processes should be instituted by the company rather than using State cohesive power to intimidate and brutalise innocent citizens.
Our heartfelt condolence goes to the family of the dead and also pray for a speedy recovery for the injured.
This is indeed a sad day for Ghana!!!
Eastern Regional Secretary, NDC
Issued in Koforidua on Thursday May 23, 2019.