The relatively quick dissolution of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology governing council after management-student tensions escalated into rioting, is a threat to Ghana’s democracy, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has said.
With the dissolution, he said the school’s governing council was being politicised.
[contextly_sidebar id=”MubLa6GNrpIOvrTnTZ1QMK2d5wLcbsvF”]“You are politicising the council and that is dangerous because you are going to give political actors the chance to go into universities and do what they wish and that is dangerous for our democracy and very dangerous for all of us,” he told the press in Parliament.
The government on Thursday constituted an interim governing council after it dissolved the previous one following a high-level meeting it held with all stakeholders in the Ashanti Region over the impasse between the University Authorities and students that led to a violent protest by students on Monday.
A seven-member interim committee has been tasked to manage KNUST after the school was shut down indefinitely on Tuesday.
The committee is to serve for three months.
But Mr. Muntaka suggested these actions were knee-jerk reactions to the tensions.
“The speed with which they are doing this thing cannot be explained,” he remarked.
“When you put in the interim committee and they find out that after all the university council did not act illegally, what do you do when you have already dissolved them? You don’t even have the power to do that. Within their own statutes, they have enough provisions to deal with this.”
Strike by lecturers
KNUST Lecturers have declared an indefinite strike over the government’s dissolution of the university’s governing council.
The lecturers said they do not support the government’s arbitrary decision without due consultation with them and also sidelining the Vice Chancellor of the University from the interim council.
The local chapter of UTAG in a statement signed by its President, Prof. Eric K. Forkuo, indicated that it is opposed to the dissolution as it “frowns on the autonomy of the University and smacks of political interference.”
The arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school compelled the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to mobilize for the Monday protest.
The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus last Friday without permission, according to the school authorities.
One other student who was allegedly manhandled by the internal security was hospitalized at the KNUST hospital.
The Executive Council of the SRC said the demonstration was necessary to convey students’ frustration over disrespect and oppression by the school.
The arrests came after the KNUST management served notice that it had suspended the organization of vigils (morales) in the school.
The management said this was because of “several negative issues encountered recently concerning morales in the hall.”
Some of the protesters called for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.
The SRC said the actions of the campus security and the police officers were a “gross deviation” because the two agencies were instead to protect them.
The Council also promised students that it would ensure the security officers who allegedly beat up students are held accountable while urging students to remain calm.
Over 20 students were arrested following the incident.
A day later, the school was closed down indefinitely.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana