Removal of Professor Avoke not influenced by ethnicity - Afenyo-Markin
The NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for the Effutu Constituency, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has refuted the allegation that Professor Mawutor Avoke was removed as Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Education (UEW), Winneba, because of his ethnic affiliation.
He said there had never been any scheme to remove Prof. Avoke and his men in favour of a son of the Central Region, based on their ethnicity.
Rather, he said, due process was followed in removing Prof. Avoke and four others because they fell foul of the administrative laws governing the university.
Professor Avoke and four principal officers of the UEW, including the Finance Officer, Dr Theophilus Senyo Akorlie, were allegedly sacked for their culpability in the loss of some vital documents in some offices which were at the centre of an investigation into riots at the university.
Counsel for the dismissed VC, Professor Raymond Atuguba, in a statement issued ahead of the swearing in of a new VC for the UEW last Monday, alleged that the dismissal of his client was influenced by tribalism.
"When a change of government occurred in January 2017, a certain cabal (for lack of a better word) that is associated with Winneba, saw this as an opportunity to change principal officers of the University of Education, Winneba. After acting as lawyer for the victims of this move, I can only conclude that the only real reason for their removal was ethnocentric. So Vice Chancellor Avoke. Finance Officer Akorlie and bearers of similar such names had to go”, he said in the statement.
Addressing the chiefs and the people of Winneba last Monday, moments after the new VC was sworn in by the university’s council in the presence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Afenyo-Markin said Prof. Atuguba's claims were unfounded.
He said the youth of Winneba, who were to be the first to benefit from the menial jobs at the university, had not been considered anytime the opportunity came.
Mr Afenyo-Markin said previous administrations of the UEW sidelined the youth of Winneba in job placements and that, only relatives of those in the helm of affairs were engaged.
He said under the new leadership of Reverend Father Professor Anthony Afful-Broni, there was going to be a local content policy to engage the youth of Winneba as the school embarks on a massive infrastructural drive.
Mr Afenyo-Markin said once Ghana was a secular country, nobody would be prevented from working in any institution based on his or her ethnic, religious or political affiliation be it at Winneba or any part of the country but that local citizens needed to benefit from what belonged to them too.
Using himself as an example, Mr Afenyo-Markin, whose father hails from the Volta Region and mother from Winneba in the Central Region, said that was testimony of the secular nature of Ghana and how receptive the people of Winneba were.
Mr Afenyo-Markin said under the new leadership of Rev. Father Professor Afful-Broni, there would be a local content policy to engage the youth of Winneba as the university would embark on a massive infrastructural drive.
He used the opportunity to urge the youth of Winneba and its surrounding communities who would have the privilege to be engaged in any form of work at the UEW to give of their outmost best to justify their inclusion.