Monday, 29 October 2018

KNUST SAGA: CLEAR SIGN OF LOOMING NATIONAL FUTURE LEADERSHIP CRISIS

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It saddens our heart as we keep getting disturbed as we try to fathom, how on earth will the youth considered as future leaders destroy the same properties of the national of which they will in the future be responsible for its accountability?

How on earth in this day of social advancement where graduates are the master-minders of innovation and development agenda of nationals across, and these same potential graduates in Ghana are master-minding in destruction of the resources and properties to be used to educate them?  

If you cannot protect the property you will be accountable for in the future as a potential leader or state actor today; then should you be considered as a future leader?

It is really disappointing and worrying, if we consider a youth who cannot control his or her own exuberance as a future leader; then the future of the national is indeed bleak.

Self-control, discipline, law abiding, respecter of rules and regulations of any institution, responsible, sound reasonability and patriotism are the traits of a leader. But, if any of these is not seen in a potential future leader; then the whole nation is a ‘deep-crisis’.

It is high time, we took our religious, moral and social responsibility education seriously right from the cradle to grave. This is necessary because, if what we are experience today among the living is soo abhorring and chaotic; then it is possible the dead in their graves might fight for space among themselves in the graveyard.

The nation is sitting on a timing-bomb, the earlier the whole national is revitalized, educated, and sensitized on the individual responsibility in nation-building, through an intensive, effective and mass ethical, religious, moral and social responsibility education, the better to reinvent and redirect the misdirection in thinking and action of the future and current leaders of the nation.

THE SRC

It is more shocking and worrying when we came to the realization that, the future-leaders-today of the student, that is, the Student Representative Council (SRC) executives couldn’t ascertain police permit before sanctioning what it thought could be a peaceful demonstration, when as leaders are supposed to lead as potential leaders and abiding by the national constitution, the school’s rules and regulations and ethical behavior standards of students.

The SRC, which should have been in the known of the requirement needed to be in place before sanctioning a demonstration, acted in contravene of the Public Order Act, 1994, which requires for police approval before demonstration. This is tantamount to an act of negligence and sanctioning illegality and therefore must be held liable to the deeds of their colleagues.

They should have known that, they will need maximum security protection and guideline in order to achieve the peaceful demonstration they intended to embark on.       


THE POLITICS

Joseph Yammin of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), strongman in the Ashanti Region, and other senior members of NDC have alleged that the recent violence and other acts of lawlessness that engulfed the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on Monday, October 22, 2018 was a calculated and well-orchestrated plot to oust the vice chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso.

According to him, several efforts have been in the past to remove the Vice Chancellor from office to no avail, hence the recent acts in order to nail him.

According to him, calls by some leading members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) including the national youth organizer, Henry Nana Boakye, the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Agency, Justin Kodua and the Brong Ahafo Regional first vice chairman of the party Kwame Baffoe, also known as Abronye DC for the dismissal of the vice chancellor is ample evidence that the ultimate goal of the unfortunate happenings in the university is to get the vice chancellor out of office.

He argued on an Accra based television station and monitored by BestNewsGH.com that the vice chancellor has for a long time now been perceived as an NDC person, hence all efforts to dismiss him.

‘’It beats my imagination that everyone seems to be fixated at the Vice Chancellor. I agree to some extent that yes, you cannot extricate the VC from the matter, but the over concentration on him raises eyebrows. Social media is awash with campaigns from NPP members calling for the head of the VC and I don’t get that. We have the head of the regional security council, who is the regional minister, why is nobody talking about him?’’ the former deputy youth and sports minister averred.

The former deputy Ashanti regional minister under the John Dramani Mahama administration continued ‘’you have the regional security coordinator who is a former Ashanti Regional police commander Opare Addo, and he couldn’t pick intelligence that this thing was going to happen? Even when the students’ letter announcing the demonstration was published on social media? And they allowed this to happen? That is why I am saying it is a deliberate plot to get the vice chancellor out’’ he added.


NPP CALLING FOR VC REMOVAL

Kwame Baffoe of the NPP is reported to have said, “Prof Obiri (VC KNUST) is a supporter of the NDC. We are going to remove him from office very soon.” UTV, 23/10/2018.

Also, NPP National Youth Organizer, Nana Boakye, popularly called Nana B, is reported to have said in a news report that, the Vice Chancellor will soon become "history".

"I am very confident that Prof Obiri-Danso will soon be history. Very very soon," he posted. http://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201810/365899.php


KNUST MANAGEMENT

The management of KNUST cannot be extricated from the whole unfortunate situation for failing to act in swift to respond to the plea of the students.

It is mind boggling why the management could not call in external security presence to ensure maximum protection of lives and properties while they were aware through the grapevines that the student had intended to embark on demonstration on Monday, 22/10/2018.

Also, the management could have called the SRC to have a jaw-jaw with them to forestall calmness and assure them of justice and better treatment of the students who are under their care.


STUDENTS CALLS FOR VC’s HEAD

According to some students who are not in support with the calls by their colleagues for the head of the Vice Chancellor is not really necessary. One student said, “In the circumstances of this, how can we blame the VC and University Management? he quizzed those blaming the VC.

“For the reforms....I wish we can get any senior members like lecturers or workers.....I run into a discussion one day on campus and people were really saying good things about him

“The SRC and the entire demonstration was not even against the VC but against security men brutalizing students on campus



Another level 300 student had told me during an interaction with him; “Ghanaians who do not know the man's background are failing themselves to push for his removal.

“They don't know about his massive developments on campus. It’s only this mixed Hall thing that is proving problematic. But come to think of it, why should girls who score better grades be at home just for the mere fact that halls available are predominantly male halls?”


SOME STUDENTS SHARE THEIR OPINIONS

(Their identities withheld)

Another level 400 student shared that, “VC is doing well in administration so far. Senior members of the University even acknowledge. What happened today is more than what we see
Right from the decision of the University Council to convert the two male halls to mixed hall...a section of students especially from the affected hall protested. To them it was a gradual change of culture and a means to tame them by the University. On and on the aggrieved students have haboured bitters, pain and anger on their chest waiting for a day to spit cold water on the University management.”

“Importantly, though the demonstration was a means agreed by the SRC to register displeasure over university security personnel molesting students, it ended up escalating fatally people some students considered it right to punch senior Management for fiercely imposition the conversion policy on them.

“What we need to know is that the conversion was executed in line with the University policy of increasing female students on campus. This is the underlying reason and it's difficult to fathom why students kicked against it.”

He further explain that, “specifically on the demonstration the SRC being organizers should have properly conducted itself in students’ mobolilization to make it peaceful. The union did not write to seek police approval and security or to even put the University on notice. This rans contrary to the Public Order Act, 1994 which requires for police approval before demonstration.

“Had this been done, the whole event would have been peaceful with police presence right from the start. We are informed that the police and later military we're only called upon when the rioting gain momentum.”


PLEAD FOR MERCY

Yes, the harm have already been done. We are happy no life was lost. Properties destroyed can be replaced.

We apologize on behalf of the students and ask the school authorities to show sincere mercy to the students. Their actions should be considered as misapplied youthful exuberance.


  
BY ADNAN ADAMS MOHAMMED
CONVENER, COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS 

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