KNUST administrators withdraw services over interim council issue

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
The Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh (left) exchanging pleasantries with Nana Effah Apenteng, the IMC Chairman, KNUST.
The Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh (left) exchanging pleasantries with Nana Effah Apenteng, the IMC Chairman, KNUST.

Members of the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) branch at the Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUST), have withdrawn their services arguing that, they do not recognise the interim council inaugurated by government.

In a statement issued and signed by the Vice President Anthony Gollo on Friday October 26, 2018, the administrators said they were withdrawing their services with immediate effect until the restoration of the Council.

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They said they were "deeply stunned" by government's decision to dissolve the Governing Council as part of measures to address the impasse in the university.

"We believe that the University Act and Statutes provide an adequate mechanism to deal with the impasse."

"We therefore do not recognise the Interim Council and so reject it outright. GAUA insists on the restoration of the dissolved Governing Council of the University," the statement said.


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GAUA condemns students

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Bonney reports that GAUA has condemned the action of students in destroying properties at the Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi last Monday.

It said regardless of the motivation, the actions of the students who invaded the main university administration block and other facilities including the hospital, the printing press, the office of dean of students, there was no justification for their action.

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Violence

“GAUA takes note that the violence that was unleashed on the University was an attack on the fundamental values of the University, which stands for and helps to maintain and nurture open inquiry and inclusive society,” a statement signed by the acting President of GAUA, Mr Francis Nyarko, said.

It said the association shared the anguish, pain, and frustration that the unfortunate incidence caused to management, staff, innocent students, parents/guardians and other stakeholders, and wished to express its sympathy to staff who were directly affected by the unfortunate actions of the students.

Role

“The Association acknowledges the critical role the media plays in disseminating information and educating the public on issues of national character but wishes to remind the media to apprise themselves of the real issues so as to educate the public well.

“We find some comments made by individuals very unfortunate and unhelpful. It is our wish, therefore, that people who wish to comment on the impasse would be measured and circumspect so as not to inflame passions to worsen the situation,” it said.

The statement commended the state security agencies, particularly the police and the military, whose timely intervention and professionalism brought the situation under control.

“We also commend the intervention of the government, the traditional authorities, the management of the university and other stakeholders to redress the impasse to ensure normalcy on the campus of the University.

Closure

The KNUST was last Monday closed down indefinitely following a violent demonstration by the students on the university campus.

The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC), which took the decision at an emergency meeting with the university authorities, also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the university campus with immediate effect.

Students were given up to midday the following day to leave campus. The REGSEC, however, made security arrangements for the foreign students of the university.

The students of KNUST, who went on peaceful demonstration against the ‘tyrannical’ style of the university administration, turned violent, leading to the massive destruction of public and individual properties.

The demonstration was also intended to express grave concern over the use of force by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, to cow them into submission.

Before the demonstration, 11 students of the University Hall (Katanga) who had participated in the usual entertainment programme (otherwise called moral session) of the hall last Friday were allegedly brutalised and arrested by the university’s internal security men and handed over to the KNUST Police Station, where they were detained.