Security has been beefed up on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) following an order by the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for all students to leave the campus immediately after vacation today.
The REGSEC, in a statement issued last Wednesday, said intelligence gathered by the security services indicated that some groups of “unruly students” were planning some disturbances on the campus on the eve of vacation.
It did not give further details on the “intelligence gathered”.
Nevertheless, the REGSEC warned that students who failed to leave the campus by midday on Saturday would face the full rigours of the law.
A visit by the Daily Graphic to the campus yesterday revealed the deployment of scores of policemen and internal security men at vantage points.
A police water cannon was also stationed close to the university’s Administration Block.
Meanwhile, students were busily going about their studies and other activities.
Some were spotted at the library as they prepared for their final examination papers today.
The REGSEC’s statement, signed by its Chairman, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, who is also the Ashanti Regional Minister, mentioned, among other acts of indiscipline, the existing unhealthy rivalry between the University and the Unity halls of the university.
In that regard, the REGSEC said, it had put measures in place to ensure that peace and sanity were maintained on the campus, and that students must leave for their homes or stay on the campus at their own risk.
It urged students to concentrate on their studies and complete their examinations without any distractions.
However, the council warned that any student who flouted the law, with offence bordering on criminality, would have criminal investigations opened against him or her and prosecuted before a court of competent jurisdiction.
The University Relations Officer, Dr Noris Bekoe, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, reiterated the fact that the leadership of the KNUST would not sit aloof for students to take the law into their own hands.
He said so far about 80 per cent of the student population had completed their examinations, while the remaining 20 per cent would complete by today.
He, therefore, wondered why students should be seen loitering on the campus after today.
Dr Bekoe urged parents and guardians to advise their children and wards to come home as soon as they finished their examinations today in order for them not to be caught by the law.
He noted that with the exemption of foreign students and students permitted by the management of the university, all students were to leave the KNUST campus latest by midday tomorrow.
The University Hall (Katanga) and the Unity Hall (Conti) are seen as rival halls at the KNUST, and their members, in the past, had engaged in a number of clashes.
The last of such clash happened on July 4, 2021 where scores of students of the university were injured after a misunderstanding allegedly broke out between some members of the two halls.
The incident occurred during the vetting of candidates for the Students Representative Council elections at the Great Hall of the university.