General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tamale North Constituency, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini, is of the view that government’s initial intervention into the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) impasse without the involvement of the Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II , is a sign of disrespect.
According to him, government should have consulted the Chancellor, who is also the King of the Ashanti Kingdom, before taking any move.
“I mean if government was minded, and if they respected his stature, some of the decisions that they took wouldn’t have been taken without consultation with him,” the Tamale North MP said Monday on TV3’s New Day.
The Asantehene was Monday tasked by government to within five days lead the reconstitution of the University’s Governing Council to take over from the Interim Council, which government had earlier constituted to investigate and manage the crisis that led to the closure of the school.
This directive came a few days after government had directed the Vice Chancellor, Professor Obiri Danso, to step aside for investigations to continue.
Gov’t dissolves KNUST Council, directs school to reopen within 14 days
But the dissolution of the Council and the directive for the VC to step down was fiercely resisted by interest groups including University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), TEWU and others, some of whom withdrew their services in solidarity with the Council and the VC.
Mr. Suhuyini thinks the latest development of bringing in the Asantehene is a retreat on a “mess” the government created.
“He has been so disrespected in the process of creating this mess, and after the mess is created, he is now being asked to clean it and that is why I’m sorry for him,” he said.
“So you don’t take those decisions only for those decisions to backfire and then you retreat and make him the carrier of the mess.”
Mr. Suhuyini, however, has confidence that the Asantehene has what it takes to bring closure to the unrest at the university.
He said the Asantehene is a wise man who will deliver on his mandate.
“But knowing the wisdom with which he is made of, I am sure that he will steer this to a very impressive end,” he stated.
He claimed the intervention of government in the first place smacks of political interference, making reference to the cases in the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), where he claimed the removal of the VC and rector, respectively, were politically motivated.
Even though Mr. Suhuyini admits government has a responsibility to take steps in helping resolve the issues in universities, he maintains it must know its limits.
But Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, rebuts that the involvement of government in the University’s impasse did not amount to any interference.
“I fail to see the interference. Of course, government has not involved itself with the running of KNUST,” he rebutted.
He expressed worry that the Minority in parliament “always want to read political meaning into everything situation that require government attention”.
“Let us not try to create issues where there is none,” he stated reiterating his point that government has done nothing untoward in the KNUST issue.