5 probe KNUST crisis

Otumfuo Visit Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll

Thu, 15 Nov 2018 Source: dailyguideafrica.com

A five-member committee, to be headed by a judge, will be formed soon to investigate circumstances that led to the riots at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

This was announced by the Chancellor of the university, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, who addressed the reconstituted Governing Council of the university on Tuesday.

The Asantehene said the cause of the violent protest that led to the massive destruction of properties in the university must be unearthed to help prevent its occurrence in future.

He said it would be dangerous for the university if the circumstances that led to the riots are not investigated.

“This is the worst incident that has happened during my tenure as the chancellor of the KNUST over the last one decade. And it is a pain I do not bear lightly.

“So I am determined that the return to normalcy should not mean premature closure but the commencement of a clean process for the sake of the future.

“We should not sweep any dirt under the carpet, and accordingly, a full and transparent enquiry must be set up to look into all the circumstances,” the KNUST chancellor remarked.

Law and Order

Otumfuo said, henceforth there would be strict law and order at the university, stressing that acts of disrespect and lawlessness would not be tolerated in the school going forward.

According to him, it would be in the interest of all stakeholders, including management, students and all relevant bodies, to behave in a manner that would not bring the name of KNUST into disrepute.

He stated that KNUST campus, where future leaders are being trained, should be a place where freedom of expression exists, but warned people not to go beyond their boundaries.

“Yes, the university is nothing if not a hotbed of free expression and the penchant of rigorous debate must be one of the intrinsic values we inculcate in our students.

“But defiance and disorder cannot and can never be part of those values, and it should be abundantly clear that neither students nor alumni or any group within the university shall be allowed to distance or conduct itself in a manner that undermines the integrity of management.”

Students’ Riots

Thousands of students of KNUST went on rampage on October 22, 2018, destroying properties, including 40 cars on the campus.

The violent acts by the irate students compelled lecturers and KNUST security personnel to run helter-skelter to save their lives.

A joint military and police team was dispatched to the school to maintain law and order.

Otumfuo Weeps

The KNUST Chancellor could not fathom why the students ignored the university’s laid-down regulations to express their grievances and resorted to violence.

“I have served as chancellor for more than a decade, and I have devoted more time, effort and resources to the university than any single entity since ascending the Golden Stool.

“We have maintained credibly close relationship with all levels of personnel with the leadership and general body of students, with alumni as much as I have done with management and academic staff.”

Katanga, Unity Hall Saga

According to him, he is aware that the decision to turn single sex halls into mixed halls was taken by the KNUST Governing Council, which is made up of all major stakeholders of the school.

Otumfuo said he was surprised that the decision that had the support of all relevant groups in the school could end up sparking bloody protests that led to massive destruction of properties.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com
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