General News of Tuesday, 23 October 2018
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 12midnight. 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; 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 vandalising 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.
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.