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General News Mon, 20 Jan 2003

Looming Crises Over Faith At Legon

GHANA?S PREMIER UNIVERSITY MOSLEMS AT WAR WITH V-C

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ivan Addae Mensah (pictured), has denied granting permission for the construction of a mosque for use by Muslim students in Akuafo hall.

The mosque, which is nearing completion, is to be demolished because the university development council says it did not approve it. The enraged Muslim students also claim that Professor Addae Mensah and the development council gave them the approval.

A report in the national concord newspaper quotes the students as saying that the new vice chancellor Professor Assenso Okyere?s decision smacks of bigotry and muscle flexing.

But the former Vice Chancellor Professor Addae Mensah called JoyFM to deny giving any such permission for the mosque project. He explained that as chairman of the university development council, no such decision was taken. Professor Addae Mensah says those who took the decision went against university regulations.

"There are very laid down regulations with regards to how developmental projects are carried out. Normally when for projects such as mosque and church buildings. You apply to the university development committee chaired by the vice chancellor. It is then discussed and if found to be meritorious, the committee look for a suitable site".

"Those seeking to undertake the project must furnish the committee with their financial strengths, their site plans and all that.In the case of the mosque, the procedures were not followed so the only alternative is to have the building demolished".

Professor Addae Mensah also disagreed with assertions that the hall authorities have the right to authorize and permit development projects.

"The hall's autonomy starts and ends with who is admitted into the halls and to a extent management of finances. To say the halls can do as they please is twisting the regulations. The point is that there are well laid out electricity lnes, water lines and others that would be disrupted if anyone could do as they please. If we allowed that it would be a complete receipe for disaster", Professor Addae Mensah said.

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Source: national concord
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