General News of Saturday, 27 October 2018
Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has expressed utmost disgust at the turn of recent events involving brutalities and Chaos at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
His concerns particularly, have to do with a recent communique issued by the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the university, which contained information to the effect that, negotiations with management following the riots, yielded positive results, leading to the reversal of some major actions.
Management, among other things, was absolute about combining all hall week celebrations into one, cancelling ‘morale’, centralizing all students’ association accounts and evicting constitutionally elected executives who decided to protest their decision to convert single sex halls to mixed halls by going to court.
Enforcement of one of the bans, cancellation of ‘morale’ however sparked chaos after students decided to hold a vigil on 19th October and were, in the process of being stopped, heckled and manhandled by security officers on the campus, leading to the injury of some 11.
Subsequently, violent protests erupted leading to the destruction of dozens of vehicles and school properties. The school was shut down in less than 48 hours with all Ghanaian students packing out of campus.
Addressing the issue on Newsfile Saturday, Mr. Baako, appalled by the entire incident, described it as a complete waste of time. According to him, he is perplexed about the fact that dialogues were held and concessions made after leaving room for all the chaos and destruction of properties, when same could be done in the first place, to avoid all this raucous.
“The communique on concessions that students issued, when, where, how did arrive at that? Who and who sat down, where? Have they not wasted our time? and in the process destroyed public and private property; violence left right center. They had the potential to dialogue to resolve the issue, at least those which triggered the violent demonstration? What is this? it’s a very serious thing”, he said, visibly peeved on the show.
Mr. Baako was convinced there was more to the issue than was being portrayed. The SRC and management he said, ought to provide clarity to the subject.
“They should give us better and further particulars. When did they engage, where did they engage? How did they engage? and at that time, other stakeholders apparently were not involved so government then rushes to put up a committee, what is this, I’m irritated by all of them. They wasted our time with violence unless that thing is fake”, he stated on the show.
KNUST was shut down indefinitely following riots that rocked the school. Delegations from the Ministry of Education, the Asantehene and other stakeholders, after the incident met with management of the school to have talks and deliberate on the way forward.
The Governing Council of the school was also dissolved and an interim one sworn-in with government directing that the school be reopened within 14-days. Groups all the while were calling for the ‘head’ of Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, describing his administration as appalling and autocratic and demanding that he be sacked.
Meanwhile, Lecturers at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have declared an indefinite strike over the government’s dissolution of the university’s governing council.
The strike takes effect today [Friday, October 26, 2018], although students have left the campus following Monday’s violent protest.
The lecturers said they do not support the government’s arbitrary decision without due consultation with them and also sidelining the Vice Chancellor of the University from the interim council.