General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Despite a week of chaos at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), concerns that trust will be difficult to repair among feuding stakeholders have been dismissed.
Chairman of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union at the closed down campus in the Ashanti region observed the feud was more like friendly fire. Speaking to Evans Mensah, host of Joy News late evening news analysis show PM Express Monday, the union leader compared the feud to a goat fight.
“My brother, have you seen the way two goats fight?”
“For them, they will just rise up and when you look [at them], it is as if they are going to crash themselves [but] then they will go back and not do that”.
He explained the lecturers, students and workers play the role of parents interchangeably, therefore, preserving a bond.
“So if you are outside you think they are going to fight and that will not be the situation. That is the way KNUST things happen. We know ourselves”.
He was speaking after a calm-restoring intervention by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II into a week of escalating tensions at Ghana’s second largest public university.
It began last week Monday after a student protest turned riotous. They had been complaining of disrespect and abuse by the university authorities. They also accused the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso of supervising a culture of oppression.
But The government’s intervention quickly became interference when it dissolved the governing council a day after the protest.
It was at this point that lecturers and administrators accused by students of systematic abuse of students turned to accuse government of abusing its powers.
They kicked against an interim council and got what say some was an unlikely support from the Student Representative Council.
A government announcement that the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kwame Obiri Danso had been asked to step aside worsened agitations by UTAG and TEWU which declared strike.
The Asantehene who is KNUST Chancellor intervened during a meeting of all stakeholders and has restored the governing council. He is expected to unveil a committee of retired judges to look into the remote triggers of the chaos.
TEWU leader Charles Arthur said the findings of the committee will come as a surprise to the public.
“Outsiders are seeing things differently ….what outsiders are hearing is different from what is inside”, he said on PM Express.