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General News Mon, 28 Mar 2005

Press statement from UDS Students, Navrongo campus

PRESS STATEMENT BY CONCERNED STUDENTS OF NAVRONGO CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES ON THE CANCELLATION OF THE FOUNDERS CONGREGATION AND RELATED PRONOUNCEMENT BY THE UNIVERSITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN

Ladies and Gentlemen: of the print and electronic media, sympathizers of the university, senior members present, follow students thank you for responding to this all important call, however urgent it appears.

We begin by expressing our personal and heartfelt appreciation for the unflinching support and encouragement this press conference enjoyed from all concerned. It is our fervent prayer that similar programs of this nature will be accorded the same response and patronage.

This press conference to a host is long over due and to others unnecessary. Nevertheless we the concerned student are assuring all that this exercise is nothing but a call to duty to dissociate the students of this campus and the entire students community a of the university as a whole from the alleged petition sent to the university council chairman which sought to protest against the citation accompanying the honorary doctorate awarded to the former president, His Excellency Flt Lt (Dr.) Jerry John Rawlings.

Ladies and gentlemen, students on the Navrongo campus were overwhelm with joy upon receiving the circular about the decision of the university to honour the Ex-President and the foundation VC at a founders congregation for their respective roles in the establishment of this fledgling university.

Our joy and preparation to attend the congregation were short lived when we received another circular canceling the congregation citing national security concerns from the chairman of the university council, which were swiftly dismissed by the national security apparatus, which gave security clearance for the congregation.

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Students of this campus have found it somewhat ridiculous and ironic that the university council chairman is basing his argument of his security alert and subsequent actions on an alleged letter purported to have been petitioned to him by a group of students.

It is the shared opinion of the concern students and student of the Navrongo campus that the council chairman publish the petition, list of students and the campus from which these students who petitioned him are in order to lay a credible claim since students of this campus are totally unaware and not party to the said petition which our sister campus?s both in Wa and Tamale have distanced themselves from.

We make this demand from the council chairman for the following reasons:

Students were not consulted before the council approved the decision of the academic board to confer honorary degrees on some outstanding personalities including the Ex-president; neither did any student leadership (council representative of students). Meaning students have very minimal role to play in the council and it decision not the least to talk about the choice a citation.

The said petition is creating an impression that students do not recognize the role the Ex-president played in the establishment of the university at the least mention his personal donation of $50,000 and most books in our libraries.

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Creating division between students and the university dons and administrators and majority of the general public who have found wisdom in the decision of the university to honor the Ex-president in recognition of role in played in the establishment of the university amidst strong opposition of some development partners like the world Bank and IMF then.

Creating unnecessary tension between and among students where every student is suspecting the other.

The ghost petition is a "face saving" exercise calculated at shifting blame to the innocent students in order to get free from his actions and personal opposition to the honour of the Ex-president after failing in his bid to use national security consideration as a fertile grounds to denying the Ex-president his meritorious honour.

Ladies and Gentlemen: It is evidently clear without any reservations that the council chairman is not the right material to chair the University council. In our opinion he has demonstrated his incompetence, dishonesty and is very economical with the truth from his actions relating to the special founders congregation. We are therefore recommending to government to relieve him of his membership and chairmanship to the council. In fact his actions relating to the special congregation was a threat to national security as his false security alert created unnecessary tension and sort to draw some political maneuvovers on the part of government.

Lastly but not the least, we will like to debunk a news item attributed to Mr. Anthony Karbo a defacto SRC president and students representative to the council on Choice Fm, quoted by one Awaal Mohammed on GTV breakfast show that Karbo confirmed a list of 472 names that petitioned the council chairman. The said statement attributed to him is blatantly false information. We are reliably informed that no student or group of students from the Navrongo campus ever petitioned the council chairman.

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Ladies and gentlemen of the press thank you very much for honoring this invitation by the students of this campus of the university. It is in the light of informing the public that the students under the leadership of the concern students? sort put records straight pertaining to the annulled founders? congregation.

Signed By:

Beinpuo Ernest S. W, Alidu A. Abukari and Reginald Addy Morton

Principal Contact Persons

Beinpuo Ernest S. W 0244289699 or 0208250806

Alidu A. Abukari 0277787471

Reginald Addy Morton 0244233857

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