Some students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), about two weeks ago petrol-bombed some five rooms in the University Hall also known as Katanga, authorities of the school have said.
According to the Assistant Registrar at KNUST’s Public Relations Office, James Kwasi Oberko, the incident occurred on October 12, 2018.
He said some students and others who identified themselves as alumni of the University Hall on the said date embarked on what is known as morale session “in front of the University Hall and threatened to burn down the hall.”
He said the KNUST security was quickly deployed to the place to stop such threats from being executed.
“The morale session ended around 12 midnight. Then at 2:30 am on Saturday morning, some unknown assailants through the use of petrol bombs burnt five rooms at the east wing of the University Hall. And the university authority reported to the police. We called in our on campus fire service to come and control the fire and the case was handed over to the police. As a result of this, there was the need to review security measures at University Hall specifically,” he added in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday.
James Kwasi Oberko said ‘morale’ sessions which are made up of drumming and dancing were subsequently banned on campus temporarily as a result of recent disturbances; a situation he said provoked some of the students.
On Monday, a protest by the students against the school’s authorities turned violent with over 20 students arrested after they resorted to vandalizing public and private properties.
The students staged the protest to register their displeasure over the arrest of their colleagues last week, and the existence of a supposed oppressive regime on campus.
The Assistant Registrar said the students had a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the University but “during the meeting, there was no mention of a demonstration.”
“On Sunday evening, we saw publications on social media of them wanting to go on demonstration on Monday. But the Dean of Students and university management said lectures would still be held despite the demonstration. Majority of the students went for lectures,” he said.
Attacks were unprovoked
Mr. Oberko also said the attacks by the students were unprovoked.
“What exactly the student did, and all the attacks were totally unprovoked. The military and the police were there, but they did not engage them,” he insisted.
KNUST protest a necessary evil; we won’t pay for damages – SRC Executive
When he was asked about the said petrol-bomb incident, an executive of the SRC who spoke on the Citi Breakfast Show on condition of anonymity, could not confirm or deny that it happened.
Her said Monday’s violent protest was the only way to drum home their concerns.
According to the executive who spoke on condition of anonymity, no alternative action would have compelled the management to put an end to its abuse to students.
But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the executive said although the intended peaceful demonstration turned violent, the students had had enough of management’s insensitivity.
“For some time, management run the school without giving credence to students’ leadership. They disregard us in a way and we are just disgruntled. So what happened yesterday was a necessary evil. Let us admit that.”
The executive also absolved the students from any blame for the acts of vandalism adding that the student front will not bear any cost for the destruction.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana