Crisis looms in UDS over suspension of student leaders

Crisis looms in UDS over suspension of student leadersThere is a looming crisis that could disrupt academic work at the Wa Campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS) following the suspension of two student leaders of the University from their positions in the Student’s Representative Council (SRC) by the University’s authorities.

While the students have vowed not to relent until the suspension of Mr Naab Alphonse and Mr Owusu Aboagye, SRC President and Secretary, respectively, of the Central SRC of the University, were revoked, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kaku Sagare Nokoe and his lieutenants at the Wa Campus have stuck to their grounds.

At a news conference at Wa on Monday, the students said the Dean and Vice Dean of the Wa based Faculty of Integrated Development Studies of the University walked out of a meeting called by the Management of the Faculty to resolve the issue.

The students, therefore, appealed to the Committee of Vice Chancellors to urge their colleague at the UDS to rescind his decision to suspend the two student leaders from office as they had exhausted all internal democratic procedures to resolve the issue.

They described the reasons used by the Acting Vice-Chancellor to suspend the two SRC officials as unfounded, false, baseless, and intended to cause malice.

According to the students, the Acting Vice-Chancellor accused the two students of using abusive language in a letter written to him and engaging in unauthorized radio interviews.

They were also alleged to have abused their offices, disrupted the academic calendar during SRC week celebration and granted interviews to the media, which allegedly tarnished the image of the University.

Mr Mustapha Abdul Ganiyu, Central SRC Vice President of the University, contended that the SRC President was a democratically student leader, who constitutionally could only be removed from office through an action of impeachment or vote of no confidence.

He stated that the decision by the Acting Vice-Chancellor to remover their two colleagues from office stemmed from a petition they sent through the Dean of students to the Vice-Chancellor in which they intended to hold a news conference to put their grievances into the public domain on October 15 2008.

The students’ requests included a National Health Insurance cover for all students towards, which they paid 40 Ghana cedis each; provision of adequate lecture halls and a demand for public address system for lecture halls each of which accommodated not less than 600 students.

The students also accused the Deputy Upper West Regional Police Commander, Mr Augustine Gyenning, of not helping in the resolution of the problem by using his office to harass, threaten and intimidate their leaders.

They cited the arrest and detention of the SRC Electoral Commissioner immediately after the aborted meeting with Management of the Wa Campus during, which his mobile phones were allegedly seized.

On November 28 2008, the Vice-Chancellor of the University wrote a letter to the two students in which he suspended the two student leaders from office for alleged misconduct.

On January 19 2009 they were ordered to face a disciplinary committee to answer charges of misconduct levelled against them and since then the students have been calling for the reinstatement of their two colleagues describing the Acting Vice-Chancellor’s action as arbitrary.

Source: GNA