The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has registered its strong opposition to the dissolution of the Governing Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) by the government.
It said it would not tolerate any government interference in the affairs of autonomous tertiary institutions.
Addressing a press conference on the developments at KNUST in Parliament House on Monday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the unwarranted dissolution of the Governing Council of KNUST is not only unlawful but also an affront to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which gives academic freedom and independence to institutions of higher learning as enshrined in Articles 21 and 70 of the Constitution.
“The Minority in Parliament unreservedly and absolutely denounces government’s unlawful conduct in dissolving the Council of the University. We therefore demand the immediate reversal of this illegal act,” the minority leader requested.
The minority leader also said government showed gross disrespect to the Chancellor of KNUST, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for not informing him before the unexpected dissolution of the Council and that should be condemned.
“The minority is concerned about how government’s knee-jerk reaction has derailed the mediation efforts of the Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the government’s attempt to undermine his authority as Chancellor and disrupt the mediation efforts he has started,” he added.
The minority leader pointed out that government and for that matter President Akufo-Addo should take all the blame for the impasse at KNUST concerning the conversion of the single-sex halls into mixed halls, adding that the problem emanated from the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah – both of whom publicly endorsed the new hall policy even though enough consultations had not been done.
“Proactive and consultative leadership would have better managed government’s unpopular policy of the conversion of single-sex halls of the residence of KNUST,” the minority leader asserted, adding that the minority also condemns the violent demonstration of the students.
Haruna Iddrisu also called for the re-instatement of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, adding that if government wants to dissolve the Council, it should rather change its representatives on the Council and not entirely dissolve it.
“We stand by UTAG, TEWU, FUSAG, GAUA and VCG and fully support them in their fight against oppressor’s rule in the universities,” he added.
Source: Daily Guide