Avoke's return: Heavy police presence on UEW campus
A huge number of heavily armed police officers have taken over the security of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in anticipation of the return of the ousted Vice-Chancellor of the school, Prof Mawutor Avoke, who, together with some staff who were also dismissed, stormed the campus on Tuesday to, ostensibly, take over the running of the university.
Opanin Darko, Accra100.5FM’s Central regional correspondent told Nana Ama Agyarko on the mid-day news on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 that: “The Police are here in their numbers to forestall any mishap following news about the return of Prof Avoke.”
He added: “Lectures are, however, ongoing peacefully.”
Prof Avoke was ousted as Vice-Chancellor of the university, earlier this year but on Tuesday July 23, he indicated that he would report on the University’s premise to reclaim his position and discharge his “lawful” duties.
Rev. Father. Anthony Afful-Broni was invested as V-C of the school at a ceremony graced by President Nana Akufo-Addo in September 2018 while the legal tussle over the dismissal of Prof Avoke was still being litigated.
Prof Avoke and five other officers of the university were temporarily injuncted for alleged breaches of office and malfeasance of a financial nature. After investigations by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Prof Avoke and the others were proven innocent and discharged of the said charges for which they were dismissed.
Currently, the front of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is divided over the matter.
UTAG-UEW, in a statement signed by its president, Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, said the school has “seen much water go under the bridge that needs urgent assuaging. UTAG, therefore, urges Professor Mawutor Avoke to ably superintend the bridging of gaps and mending of broken fences to move the university forward in a spirit of enduring reconciliation and progressive cohesion to place it on the pedestal for which the institution is characteristically known nationally and internationally.
“UTAG-UEW further implores everyone to lend Professor Mawutor Avoke the much-needed unified support and encouragement to discharge his lawful duties as Vice-Chancellor and to lead as he ought.”
But another group of UTAG-UEW, in a counter-statement, said it is “scandalised by a coup d’état-like press release issued on 23 July 2019 by Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, President of UTAG-UEW and his executives, purporting that we the members of UTAG-UEW support a rather weird, scandalous and most frivolous position of a self-declared reinstatement to office of the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mawutor Avoke, and some other dismissed staff of the university.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that the press release represents the personal, parochial views of Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku and his executives and does not arise from a majority or consensus decision of the entire UEW-UTAG members.
“More especially, the press statement is a huge indictment on the integrity of Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, who, a few weeks ago, had been granted a pardon by the UEW Governing Council for an earlier disciplinary action on some acts that constituted gross misconduct. Indeed, we the general members, had in an earlier Press Conference in March 2019 pleaded with the Governing Council to tamper justice with mercy and recall Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku and some two others back to work following their dismissal. The Governing Council granted our request and reinstated the three culprits through its power of pardon.
“We, therefore, shudder at this nauseating recalcitrant behaviour of Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku as exhibited through the press release and interviews granted the media and tacitly supporting the barging into office by Prof Avoke and some other officers. This behaviour by Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku reinforces the fact that the Council’s earlier decision to dismiss him for acts of gross misconduct was well-thought-out and deservedly applied.”