General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
A committee of retired judges is expected to look into the chaos on the streets of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) that eventually spilled into the university’s boardroom.
The Chancellor of the university, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will constitute this committee following his intervention that deescalated a full week of tension at KNUST.
Details about membership and size of the committee are yet to be made public.
Chairman of the KNUST Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) Charles Arthur said on Joy News late evening show PM Express Monday, the committee has 30 days to unravel the remote causes of a violent student protest.
The protest led to a campus shut down as more than 40,000 students returned to their homes. The government’s intervention quickly became interference when it dissolved the governing council.
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. Kwasi Obiri Danso had been asked to step aside worsened agitations by UTAG and TEWU which declared strike.
Their position supported by influential pressure group OccupyGhana was that government did not appoint the Vice-Chancellor and therefore cannot ask him to step aside.
They insisted that according to the KNUST Act, only the governing council can.
When government dissolved the council, it appeared to have glossed over a small matter of the Asante king’s big presence on the council as Chancellor.
His intervention cut short a week-long fracas. The Asantehene’s after talks with stakeholders and government has reversed all actions taken in the past six days.
The only event he could not reverse was the student riots last week Monday. For that, he will be announcing a committee on Friday to look into the agitations of the students.
According to the KNUST TEWU Chairman Charles Arthur, the Asantehene is finding it hard to wrap his head around the riots and wants to know the remote triggers.
“His majesty, the Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has spoken…He is like a Head of State…he has spoken. He is a great king”, he ended a week of accusations with profuse praise.