The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who doubles as the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has warned encroachers on the university’s lands to immediately desist from such acts or face his wrath.
According to him, in recent times, he has received a number of reports of persons who have already trespassed on portions of the university’s land.
Otumfuo made the comment at the launch of KNUST’s 70th anniversary in Kumasi.
“Let me use this platform to highlight a very disturbing development which has come to my attention in recent times. That is the encroachment of university (KNUST) lands. I condemn it in no uncertain terms and strongly send a note of caution to all those involved to desist from it or face my wrath. Let me warn the communities, the chiefs, and whoever, that, the lands are mine and you are just caretakers to those lands. There’s no family land here in Ashanti. No Abusuapanin (head of the family) can claim the land belongs to him and therefore he has the right to alienate a portion of the university land”.
He added that he is confident of winning any court case in relation to the matter, once any aggrieved person decides to take the matter up.
“You can go to any court. Take it there. I am also sure there will be a judge there who will know that the constitution of Ashanti says that there is no family land in the Ashanti Region and therefore get the lawyers to take you to court but I’ll get the court to overturn their decisions to affirm my authority on the lands here”.
KNUST’s 70th Anniversary
As part of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s 70th anniversary, alumni and various dignitaries joined management of the university in celebrating the milestone on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, used the occasion to highlight the contributions the university has made towards development in various sectors of the economy.
One major issue confronting KNUST and other tertiary institutions across the country is access to affordable hostel facilities. Students have, over the years, complained about the exorbitant hostel fees they pay to private hostel owners.
This has largely been attributed to inadequate hostels on various university campuses.
Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson has thus called on investors to collaborate with the university for lands to be given out to them on its campus to help address the accommodation deficit.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the university has made significant efforts to provide decent accommodation for students since the first university hall, Independent hall was built in 1958. Subsequently, five additional traditional halls were added to the independent hall.”
“With the increasing number of students, the Chancellor’s hall, SRC, and GUSSC hostels were later built. Although accommodation for students has seen some growth, the pace is not as we desire. We have therefore had to depend on private hostels around campus for support to attempt to resolve the huge accommodation deficit. I wish to take this opportunity to invite more private investors to join the university in addressing the student housing challenges we are currently facing as a university”.
She also called on the government to put in place measures to employ more lecturers to match the student population of over eighty thousand.
Speaking at the programme, Education Minister, Dr. Osei Yaw Adutwum, hinted at plans to restructure Ghana’s Education system for graduates to be globally competitive.
He, however, urged the authorities at KNUST to consider creating an initiative to benefit communities around the institution.
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is also the Chancellor of the University, in reacting to the issue said he is considering setting up an office at the department of history and political studies at the university to deepen the relationship between the Manhyia Palace and the institution to address such matters.
The Asantehene and the Vice-Chancellor of the university also commended the government for committing to honouring its promise of working on the KNUST Teaching Hospital Project, which has been left abandoned for over a decade.
They however called on President Akufo-Addo to look at working on phase two of the project as well.