Legon blocks motorists without stickers


The University of Ghana, Legon on Saturday started blocking motorists who do not have the University of Ghana stickers from entering or exiting the university through the Link Gate on the road from Achimota and on the Annie Jiagge Road Extension from Haatso.

Security officers barricaded the gates and opened the barricade for only motorists who had the  2014 University of Ghana sticker to drive through.

Students and residents using the road to areas including Achimota, Haatso,  Adenta, and Madina were the most affected.

The Stadium Road entrance (Okponglo Junction)  is the only designated main entrance to the university now.

The University of Ghana took the decision to allow only vehicles with the university’s sticker following the government’s directive to the university authorities to suspend its decision to take user charges from motorists.

The government promised to pay for the maintenance of the university’s newly-constructed roads and absorb the loan the school took to reconstruct the roads.

 
Confusion
When the Daily Graphic team visited the Link Gate on Saturday, it sighted inscription, “No UG’s sticker, No Exit”, mounted close to the barricade.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) student of the University of Ghana, Mr Gideon Dewan, was one of the people blocked from exiting through the gate.

Mr Dewan said he  went to  meet his supervisor on campus, and wondered why he would not be allowed to exit.

Showing his university identity card to this reporter, he claimed  that he had paid $10,000 for his Master of Business Adminstration  programme, and questioned why the university should restrict his movement on campus.

After engaging in an argument with the security guards for about 15 minutes, Mr Dewan drove back to the university.

A police officer who declined to mention his name was also prevented from exiting, even though the security guards had seen his identity card.

The police officer parked his vehicle in the middle of the road, and insisted that he would not go back until he was allowed to exit.

 
Taxi rank
Taxi drivers are the most affected as they cannot get the stickers to connect to the other areas through the Link Gate and the Annie Jiagge Road Extension from Haatso.

People who wanted to pick taxis to Achimota and other surrounding areas had to go back when they were told that the taxis could not go through.

A taxi driver who gave his name only as Emmanuel told the Daily Gaphic that their business had been affected greatly as passengers to Achimota and its surrounding areas looked for other means to get to their destinations.

 
University of Ghana statement
A statement issued by the Registrar of the University of Ghana, Ms Mercy Haizel-Ashia, said the university was committed to improving and protecting its facilities and physical assets as part of a larger programme to enhance the quality of its products.

“The object is to re-establish and maintain a serene atmosphere that is conducive to academic work, including teaching and research. The university cannot support academic work with the needed environment when 16,000 vehicles travel through its Legon campus every day, creating significant congestion at crucial times, as well as posing safety and security challenges for members of the university community, especially our students,” it said.

The statement said mindful of the inconvenience restrictions on the use of campus roads might impose on neighbouring communities, the university had taken steps to work with the government to provide appropriate alternative routes for the use of motorists who had no legitimate business on the campus.  The statement said the Stadium Road entrance (Okponglo Junction) to the university had for the time being been designated the main entrance to the university.

“It will remain opened 24 hours a day to the general public. Members of the general public seeking to enter the university campus for any reason are advised to use this entry point,” it said.

The statement said all  other entry points, including the one at the Link Gate on the road from Achimota and on the Annie Jiagge Road Extension from Haatso, would not be opened to the general public.

“They will, however, open for persons who have been pre-approved by the  university management. Typically, persons who have been pre-approved will be provided with a “UG sticker to display on their vehicle windscreens. Vehicles with a UG sticker may enter and exit the campus from any of the designated points,” it said.

The statement asked members of the general public who wish to be considered for a “UG sticker” to  submit an application to the Director of Physical Development and Municipal Services.

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