General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has held talks with stakeholders of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi to find a lasting solution to the current crisis at Ghana’s foremost science university.
The meeting was attended by members of the dissolved Governing Council, University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) at Manhyia Palace yesterday.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who doubles as the Chancellor of the university, summoned the meeting due to the violent demonstration on campus and subsequent dissolution of KNUST Governing Council by government.
The meeting, which started at about 11am, was held behind closed doors.
Issues such as the sacking of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, and the dissolution of the KNUST Governing Council by government were discussed.
The meeting was attended by the embattled VC, top lecturers at KNUST and members of the dissolved council.
Also, the institution of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) by government and other pressing issues about the university were discussed.
Sources alleged that Otumfuo was not aware of happenings and decisions taken by the authorities of the school and demanded answers from members of the dissolved Governing Council.
Members of the newly constituted seven-member IMC were also said to have been summoned to the meeting by Otumfuo who returned to the country on Sunday.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the Vice-Chancellor may be reinstated by the close of the week to continue his work.
The students of KNUST went on the rampage last Monday, destroying several properties.
They accused the authorities of the university of using management and campus security personnel to brutalize them.
Government dissolved the Governing Council and put in place a seven-member IMC to run the affairs of the university that was shut down indefinitely as a result of the violent protest held last week Monday.
This followed briefings and recommendations made by the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh and his high-powered delegation, which included the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah and the Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, after a fact-finding visit.
The IMC, which is chaired by Nana Effah Apenteng, the Paramount Chief of Bompata Traditional Area, has Prof Rita Akosua Dickson, Dr Edward Baffoe-Bonnie, KNUST Pro-Vice Chancellor, Hilda Haggar Ampadu, Prof Joshua Ayarkwa, Abena Antwi and Kelvin Sah as members.
The name of the beleaguered Vice-Chancellor (VC) of KNUST, Prof. Obiri-Danso, was conspicuously missing from the seven-member committee which has the mandate to restore normalcy to the school in three months’ time.
President of the KNUST Local Chapter of UTAG, Prof Eric K. Forkuo, said they considered the move by government as an affront to lecturers who are also critical stakeholders in the administration of university education.
He disclosed that the UTAG members do not recognize the IMC put in place to resolve the current impasse at the school.
With this development, the tenure of the IMC may end this week, as a new council is expected to be put in place by Friday under the auspices of Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who has been mandated by government to amicably settle the impasse.
TEWU Beats War Drums
Yesterday, members of KNUST branch of TEWU also threatened to lay down their tools if government failed to restore the dissolved Governing Council of the university.
Holding various placards with inscriptions, the protesters expressed readiness to fight to the last blood.
Local Chairman of KNUST TEWU, Charles Arthur, said they had confidence in the ability of the deposed Governing Council to deal with the current crisis.
“We are major stakeholders in the running of the university and government cannot be adamant to our concerns and grievances. If the council is restored, trust me, normalcy will also be restored in clear five days,” he added.