God will appreciate if we arrest you for vandalism – IGP to Krobo youth

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has cautioned Krobo youth to be responsible and avoid being used to perpetuate interests of some individuals in the ongoing impasse on the usage of electricity.

He expressed worry that the impasse had stayed on for too long with its security implications at Odumase and Somanya and pledged to provide lasting solutions.

“The issue of light in my new adopted home of Odumase and Somanya has been too long. With its security implications with the long challenges that we have gone through in terms of policing over the years, myself and my team would stop this in a manner that would maintain the peace and security of this area.”

The IGP explained his visit to the area on Friday, December 10 was to avert further intended planned disruptions police intelligence had picked up.

“We have come to talk about security of the situation that we find ourselves. We came to talk and assess the security issue that has been occasioned by the situation in which you find yourself, and that is what constitutionally my colleagues and I are responsible for.

“The situation had made the security demands in this environment more than expected, so we brought in more police officers to keep peace and your properties. We have had engagements. I am saying this based on intelligence we picked over the week that you intend to compound the situation that you found yourself in. That moved me into this town. It’s very easy to destroy, and when you destroy, and you are in the future, come and tell me when I am dead and gone in heaven.”

The IGP warned action would be taken against those who destroy properties and cause destruction in the community.

“So, if you have a mindset of destruction stop it, because you are destroying your own future. If you see somebody who has a mindset of destruction and you don’t stop it, whatever he destroys would come back to affect you yourself. If you choose not to stop them but encourage them, we would come for them. And we would come for them at the manner in a way that nobody would appreciate but God will. So anybody who wants to mess up, be ready for us. You can’t hide.”

He recalled previous actions by the youth that caused the burning of part of a police station in the area and the pelting of stones at police officers.

“Some of you are the same people who came to burn our police station. You are the same people who pelted our people with stones, and because we are over-patriotic, you touch us and we are still working. If you touch us and we don’t complain, it doesn’t mean that we are wood, because it’s better to show maturity at this level.

“Because of humanity, we stand here and at times you show some level of arrogance without realising how useless life is. And yet you behave as if you have arrived and you take the lead into your own hands and go on spree of destroying left right centre.”

IGP Akuffo Dampare asked them not to be influenced by peer pressure or be ready to face the laws even in death.

The IGP earlier on met with chiefs of the Yilo and Manya Krobo traditional areas as well as other stakeholders before meeting the youth on Friday night.

“We have invited the stakeholders involved. We have engaged your kings, your elders, we engaged the youth at the other side, we are now engaging you. We brought out the people who are at the centre of it. We have engaged them in closed-doors all because of your interest just to find lasting solutions so that we can de-escalate in terms of our deployment.”

Residents of Yilo Krobo Municipality and Lower Manya Krobo Municipality are embroiled in an impasse with the ECG over electricity bills from error with metres installed years ago.

Several violent demonstrations have been held.

Recently a youth group held another demonstration to resist an intended installation of prepaid meters by the ECG because earlier concerns had not been dealt with.

They demanded ECG leaves the Somanya office.

The ECG apparently moved to offices to Juapong in the Volta Region and afterwards shut down power to the communities, citing illegal connections in some areas and threats on their staff.

The residents were in total darkness for five days with individuals charging their phones at a cost of GH¢2 to GH¢5 while businesses and healthcare facilities have been affected greatly.

Power has since been restored in some areas.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Ghana