General News of Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has categorically stated that alumni of the University Hall, popularly known as Katanga were behind Monday’s violent demonstration and vandalism in the school.
On Monday, a protest by the students against the school’s authorities turned violent with over 20 students being 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.
Earlier, the Katanga alumni association blamed school authorities for the situation because they believed the conversion of the halls of residence was a catalyst.
But addressing journalists, Andrews Kwasi Boateng, Registrar of the KNUST mentioned that the old students of the hall instigated the students to demonstrate as a way of expressing their disapproval to management decision.
“Information available to KNUST some alumni of the University Hall have been the brain behind this orchestrated and executed vandalism as they came in several buses to participate in today’s activity”.
Mr. Boateng, who condemned the incident said management has picked information that the destruction will worsen, hence the steps taken to avert any unforeseen circumstances.
“The university strongly condemns in no uncertain terms acts of vandalism leading to the destruction of government and private properties and destroying facilities obtained with tax payer’s money”.
“Intelligent reports state that the acts of vandalism will be sustained and escalate in the times ahead. It is only prudent that steps are taken to protect lives and properties”, he added.
Mr. Boateng in what he termed as an unsolicited and unprovoked attacks, also presented an official breakdown of items destroyed as follows:
1. 30 vehicles belonging to staff of the university have been burnt.
2. The reception of the main administrative block, office of the dean of students, finance office and the offices of the university relations and security offices were demolished.
3. The official vehicle of the Dean of Student Affairs was destroyed.
4. 14 motor bikes of campus security officers have been vandalized.
5. Laptops, mobile phones, ladies’ handbag and the other items in offices which were broken into were ransacked.
6. Access and controlled gates were also destroyed.
REGSEC orders closure of KNUST, imposes curfew after violent protest
Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology [KNUST], would have to vacate the school premises by midday on Tuesday, October 23, 2018.
This follows an order by the Ashanti Regional Security Council REGSEC to the University, to close down indefinitely in the wake of the unrest.
Citi News can also confirm that, the Council has imposed a 12-hour curfew on the campus from 6:00pm to 6:00am, which takes effect today, Monday.
The decision to close down the school was taken in consultation with the management of the university.
The decision, which was announced by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, excludes foreign students who will be given full security protection.
“The decision that has been taken by REGSEC is that, today [Monday] from 6:00pm to 6:00am, we have imposed a curfew on campus. So, no one is going out from 6:00pm. All students should be in their hall of residence.”
“After that, between 6:00am and 12:00noon tomorrow [Tuesday], every student must vacate the school premises including student leaders. The only people who will be permitted to stay are foreign students. We are going to provide security for such students. We will meet [relevant stakeholders] tomorrow [Tuesday] to agree on a tentative date that the school will be reopened”, Mr. Mensah added.
Enough is enough demonstration
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) led the demonstration following the arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school on Friday.
The Executive Council of the SRC said the demonstration was necessary to end the management’s neglect of students in decision making.
The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus on Friday without permission according to the school authorities.
One other student who was allegedly manhandled by the internal security is currently on admission at the KNUST hospital.
The KNUST management however justified the arrests, after the students were released on Saturday.