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How a stray bullet and an amputated leg prevented a final year JHS student from writing her B.E.C.E

A final year Junior High School student is hopeful she will be well enough to sit her Basic Education Certificate Examination in 2020 after failing to write her final exams with her colleagues due to a serious injury she sustained when a stray bullet hit her as residents of her community clashed with Police over electricity tariffs last month.

ABC News Ghana can authoritatively report that Ruth McArthur has been left partially paralysed with one of her legs amputated after a stray bullet reportedly hit her during violent protests in Odumase Krobo in May, barely a month to her Basic Education Certificate Examination.

Ruth was hit by a stray bullet in her right leg when residents of Odumase Krobo clashed with officials of the Ghana Police Service and the Power Distribution Service(PDS) after the police breached a barricade put up by the residents to prevent officials of the PDS from disconnecting the main electricity to the town over their failure to settle outstanding debts.

Ruth was unfortunately caught up in the crossfire and has had to suffer the consequence of the actions and inactions of others. She’s having to stay home with an amputated leg as her colleagues wrap up with their final examinations at the basic education level. Ruth had no option than to agree to an amputation several treatment attempts to fix her partially paralysed leg failed.

She’s currently recuperating after being discharged from the hospital. As to whether her thoughts of a free secondary education, a university degree and a good job in order to take care of her ageing parents can materialise, only time will tell.

Background

An attempt by the Power Distribution Company (PDS) to recover Gh¢84 million debt owed the company in Krobo land in the Eastern Region turned bloody on May 22,2019 with the killing of a young boy.

A similar exercise of collecting arrears or disconnecting meters of those who have defaulted in payment of electricity bills in Kpong and Nuaso, two communities also in Kroboland was successful in the previous week.

However, upon continuing the exercise and especially on entering Kpongunu, a suburb of Odumase-Krobo on Monday, May 20, some youth massed up and attacked the PDS officials from the Krobo District and their police escort and prevented them from carrying out the exercise.

On Wednesday May 22, when the PDS team attempted to disconnect the power supply to areas owing electricity bills at Agormanya, the staff were met with stiff resistance and the personnel were chased out by irate youth despite police escort.

They, however, called for police reinforcement and the police reportedly responded with gunshots after the irate youth reportedly hurled stones at them.

In the process, the deceased said to be a teenager, who sells sachet water was shot dead.

According to some eyewitnesses, the lifeless body of the deceased, said be about 14-years-old was still lying on the road as of 6 pm.

He was said to have been hit by a bullet whilst selling sachet water during the protest.

Three other persons are said to have also been injured.

All injuries were from gunshot wounds in a melee between stone-throwing residents and gun-wielding police officers.

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