KNUST sag: Minority calls for NAPO, Prof. Yankah’s head

Minority Caucus in Parliament is calling for the head of the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, and the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah over the recent impasse at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

According to the Leader of the Caucus, Mr Haruna Iddrissu, they (Minority) are surprised that the two (Dr Opoku Prempeh and Prof. Yankah) , who had commended the Vice Chancellor of the University for his bold decision in converting single-sex halls into mixed halls, now turn round to ask him to vacate his post after a violent student protest.

Addressing journalists in Parliament yesterday over recent impasse at KNUST, the Minority Leader explained that the two state officials have demonstrated gross incompetence in resolving the impasse, insisting that the ministry failed to adopt the best “proactive and consultative leadership” which would have better managed the situation.

The Minority Leader said the government’s dissolution of the University’s council was illegal and must be immediately reversed.

“We condemn in very clear language the violation of the rights of students and the brutalities meted out to students exercising their constitutional right to protest.

In like manner, we duly condemn the violent demonstrations leading to the destruction of private and public property.

The Minority in Parliament unreservedly and absolutely denounces Government’s unlawful conduct in dissolving the Council of the University. We demand the immediate reversal of this illegal act.”

 Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah 

Mr Iddrisu accused government of displaying dishonesty and bad faith in ordering the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Obiri-Danso who was only carrying out council’s decisions to step aside.

“We decry the attempt to scapegoat the Vice Chancellor Prof. Kwesi Obiri-Danso and hold him solely responsible for the current crisis. This act by Government is the highest form of dishonesty, cowardice and bad faith. He reiterated.

Isn’t shocking that the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh who was heard loud and crystal clear on the various media networks when the agitation begun reversal of the unpopular hall conversion policy decision endorsing it on July 15, 2018 at the 52nd Congregation of KNUST. The Minority asked.

He continued further saying in a similarly fashion, the Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Prof. Yankah on September 8, 2018, endorsed the hall conversion policy describing it as Government’s Policy and directing other universities to emulate KNUST’s “bold” example.

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, if Prof. Kwesi Obiri-Danso must be removed because of this policy and it’s implementation, then it stands to reason that the two Ministers of Education namely Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Prof. Kwesi Yankah who publicly endorsed the policy, supervised, championed and praised it’s implementation should resign or be fired with immediate effect. The Minority hereby demands that the two Ministers must be treated equally just as Prof. Obiri-Danso.” Mr Iddrissu stated.

Minority however, expresses it’s deep worry for what appears to have become a consistent pattern by the Nana Addo led government to invade autonomous tertiary institutions and remove Principal Officers it did not appoint. This was the case at the University of Education, Winneba, the Ghana Institute of Journalism and the Cape Coast Polytechnic.

He therefore warned that the Minority would not sit idle and allow what they described as reckless attack on academic freedom and the autonomy of higher institutions of learning to become the new normal.



Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

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