General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2018
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who’s the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has summoned the Vice Chancellor, Professor Kwabena Obiri Danso, the students’ leadership and other stakeholders over Monday’s violent protest that saw the destruction of properties and the subsequent closure of the school.
Bantamahene, Baafour Amankwatia VI, who led members of the Kumasi Traditional Council to the KNUST on behalf of the Asantehene expressed worry about the level of destruction on campus, which he said was unprecedented.
The Bantamahene, who toured campus was unhappy about the use of violence by the students to get their grievances addressed describing the extent of damage as enormous.
Speaking to journalists, he also described the happenings at the University as a ‘disgrace to all Ghanaians.’
“As you know, he [Asantehene] is the Chancellor of the University, and he delegated me to come and see what is happening here. What we have seen upon arrival is a sad one. We have never seen anything of this sort. Students have demonstrated over the years but it has never been this serious. The extent of damage is enormous. All the feuding parties should exercise restraint as the leadership sits with the stakeholders on the way forward.”
“The school has been closed, but not only Ghanaians school here, there are also foreign students here. This is a disgrace for all Ghanaians. We are going to work to ensure the school is re-opened in earnest.”
While calling for calm, the Bantamahene, Baafour Amankwatia VI, said the Kumasi Traditional Council will engage government and the relevant stakeholders to ensure an amicable resolution is reached on the matter.
He also called on the feuding parties to exercise restraint as the Asantehene mitigates the situation.
The Bantamahene on behalf of the Asantehene urged the public to desist from politicizing the current happenings in the University as it can further worsen the situation.
He explained that measures are going to be put in place to forestall similar incidents from recurring at the University.
“We are going to learn from the happenings to ensure such violent demonstrations does not occur again.” he added.
Dozens of students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), have left the campus following a directive by the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) that the school be closed down over the violent protest by students on Monday.
Foreign students were however asked to stay behind on campus and subsequently moved into one hall.
Citi News’ Hafiz Tijani reported that many of the students who were seen packing their belongings on Tuesday morning in preparation to leave campus before the 12-noon deadline have left.
The school is subsequently under heavy security as a curfew is also in place from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
Education and National security Ministers meet KNUST Management
Government has already commenced discussions with all relevant stakeholders to address the matter.
The Ministers of Information, Education and the National Security, met the management of the University, the students’ leadership and members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council today, Tuesday, for a crunch meeting at the University.
KNUST VC still at post; management rubbishes resignation reports
Meanwhile, authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), have denied reports that the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Obiri Danso has resigned.
The University’s Public Relations Officer, Kwame Yeboah, said such reports “should be disregarded.”
“It is a figment of somebody’s imagination. I am sure you just saw him. We just returned. He has not resigned,” he told the media.
Mr. Yeboah was speaking after Management of the University sat through the crunch meeting which was chaired by the Minister of Education Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
Hundreds of students of KNUST on Monday staged a protest against what they described as a rule of tyranny and oppression by the management of the school.
The arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school compelled the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to mobilize for the Monday protest.
The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus last Friday without permission, according to the school authorities.
One other student who was allegedly manhandled by the internal security was hospitalized at the KNUST hospital.
The Executive Council of the SRC said the demonstration was necessary to convey students’ frustration over disrespect and oppression by the school.
The arrests came after the KNUST management served notice that it had suspended the organization of vigils (morales) in the school.
The management said this was because of “several negative issues encountered recently concerning morales in the hall.”
Some of the protesters called for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.
The SRC said the actions of the campus security and the police officers were a “gross deviation” because the two agencies were instead to protect them.
The Council also promised students that it would ensure the security officers who allegedly beat up students are held accountable while urging students to remain calm.
Over twenty students were arrested following the incident.