Effutu Member of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says he gets disappointed by allegations that his office was interfering in the affairs of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
The second term lawmaker has been at the centre of recent developments at the UEW waging war against what he said was injustice being perpetrated by the dismissed Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Mawutor Avoke’s administration.
He has also been vocal against same under the leadership of the current VC, Rev. Father Prof Anthony Afful-Broni whose administration has dismissed about 32 staff of the school, including lecturers, for ‘unjustifiable’ reasons.
Speaking with journalists in Parliament last Friday, Mr Afenyo-Markin said his constant involvement in the affairs of the UEW, located in his constituency, was to ensure that it functioned properly devoid of victimization.
“I get a bit disappointed when people say my office is interfering in the affairs of the University. It cannot be,” he exclaimed, “We owe it a duty to mother Ghana and a duty to academia to ensure that the right things are done.”
“If we allow things to degenerate, [under the guise of academic freedom and autonomy] one day, it will come back and haunt all of us. What was wrong yesterday remains wrong today and will remain wrong tomorrow.”
The UEW’s Governing Council in a statement issued and signed by its Chairman, Prof Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah, said the Council had reviewed its disciplinary action against the trio – Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Dr. Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, and Dr Emmanuel Osei Sarpong.
“Reconciliation must not be done in a manner that will not give a positive impression. Dr Bekoe is supposed to be reinstated. I don’t see why Bekoe should be left out. I don’t see why Agbeshi will have to sit at home on suspension. I don’t see why Dr Duku would be reinstated and others left out. I expect that the right thing should be done,” he stated.
According to Afenyo-Markin, the “gang of six,” comprising of Professor Avoke and five other administrative staff, were supposed to be compensated for ‘wrongful dismissal’ but that has not been the case.
“I have taken a position that if the Vice Chancellor cannot demonstrate the ability to reconcile, then there is no point in him being there. We all had confidence in him, we all believed in his vision for the university and that is why when he petitioned my office, I took the matter up,” he stressed.
On the way forward, Mr Afenyo-Markin said if the issues were properly addressed, the lecturers, the students and the workers would be ready and willing to work with the VC.