Some irate youth of Somanya yesterday went on rampage and vandalised the Somanya Police Station and other property following the arrest of Ebenezer Jones Adamatey, the Assembly Member for the area.
Adamatey is suspected to have led irate youth to cause unlawful damage to the Somanya Office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) last Friday.
The youth burnt the only police duty patrol vehicle, with registration number GP 2605, and vandalised the Somanya Police Station.
They destroyed doors and windows, police diaries and computers at the station. Some policemen and their families had to run for their lives.
As though that was not enough, the youth broke into the cells at the police station and freed four inmates.
Following the action of the youth, almost every economic activity in Somanya came to a standstill for more than eight hours.
Most stores closed down and many residents ran for their lives, as the demonstrators took the town hostage.
Major roads in the town were closed to traffic, a situation which created inconvenience for travellers who passed through Somanya.
It took reinforcement from the Eastern Regional Police Command and nearby police stations to control the demonstrators, who were more than 1,000.
Ready for them
Briefing the media after dispersing the crowd at the Somanya Police Station, the Eastern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) George Alexander Mensah, said the mob attack on the police station was about electricity tariffs which the community claimed were too high.
He said Adamatey, who had led some of the youth to protest the high tariffs, was arrested for questioning and that infuriated the demonstrators, who vented their anger on the police.
ACP Mensah, however, gave an assurance that his men were firmly on the ground and would deal with the situation.
“We are ready for them and we will ensure that there is sanity and peace in the area,’’ he added.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Yilo Krobo, Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey, who had rushed to the scene of the demonstration, condemned the act of lawlessness by the youth.
He said he had been an eyewitness to the demonstration last Friday and promised to follow up on the issue with the sector minister.
According to the MP, he had prepared a question to ask the minister on the floor of Parliament when he was called that his people were demonstrating.
Mr Amoatey, who is a lawyer, said the attack on the police was highly unacceptable and unfortunate.
He urged the people to exercise restraint, as he was meeting opinion leaders and the elders to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
Meanwhile, the Police Administration has assured the public that adequate security measures have been put in place to forestall further breach of the peace in Somanya.
A release signed by the Deputy Director of Police Public Affairs, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ms Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, and issued in Accra yesterday said the administration had deployed more policemen, including contingents from the Formed Police Unit, the SWAT and Counter Terrorism units, to Somanya to maintain law and order.
Following yesterday’s disturbances, six other persons have also been arrested to assist with police investigations.
The Police Administration, therefore, urged the public to report any suspected breach of the peace and criminal activities to the nearest police station, police social media platforms or call 18555 and 0302-773906.
It also appealed to the public to assist the police with relevant information to recapture four suspected criminals who were detained in the Somanya Police cells but were freed by the irate youth during yesterday’s incident.
They are Kwesi Danso, remanded for defrauding by false pretences; Kwesi Amoako, remanded for stealing; Nicholas Tetteh and Tetteh Damatey, both of whom have been charged for stealing.
Fire and police personnel trying to maintain law and order