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General News Wed, 16 Mar 2005

UDS honour and all that brouhaha

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Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, who is the center of the brouhaha over a convocation to award him an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Development Studies, (UDS) based in the Northern Region, has broken his silence on the raging issue.

Speaking to Joy FM radio yesterday, the ex-President said he was not worried about the furore over the cancelled ceremony.


He said, a ceremony or not, he was satisfied by the mere fact that a very humble, largely impoverished university had the intent to recognize his contributions to its development.


The ex-President said the cancellation of the award ceremony was an indictment on the current government, adding that he acknowledges the spirit of the authorities of UDS in what they wanted to do for him.


?I find this spirit most rewarding and an acclamation of the truth,? he said, adding that the government could not wipe out this spirit.


He lambasted the government, saying that it lacked integrity and that by their action, they had abused the intelligence of the people in Northern Ghana who would have felt honoured had the ceremony been held at Tamale, their capital.

The ex-President lauded the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. B. K. John Kaburise, for his spirited role in the whole saga.


He did not come clear when asked what he would do should a new date be set for the award ceremony.


The ex-President said there was a programmes schedule and the date would not clash with this programme, he would consider attending.


Mr. Emmanuel Victor Smith, special assistant to the ex-President, who was on two radio programmes simultaneously with Mr. Kweku Baako, editor in chief of the ?Crusading Guide,? accused the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama of being behind the cancellation of the ceremony, pointing out that there was a meeting held in his office last Friday over the award programme.


According to Mr. Smith, the myth surrounding the cancellation would be put to rest if the Vice President speaks on the matter to either distance himself or confirm any meeting with the UDS Council Chairman, Mr. Daniel Gyimah (pictured).

When pressed whether Mr. Rawlings would attend the convocation if the situation was reversed, Smith said,? I am not sure that he would attend, though I had not spoken with him personally on his intention, but I can suggest that he would not go.?


According to another Joy FM report, the congregation was called off on Monday due to what the university authorities described as security considerations made known to the chairman of the university council, Mr Daniel Gyimah.


Officials of the National Security however denied raising an alarm about any potential security threat the ceremony might pose.

Baako says JJ deserves award - Suggests Gyimah be off Council

One of the chief critics of the former President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has condemned various attempts to sabotage the slated congregation of the University for Development Studies (UDS) to confer an honorary doctorate degree on the former president.


Mr. Kweku Baako Jnr., the Managing Editor of The Crusading Guide and the Convention People?s Party (CPP), said it was unfortunate for the chairman of the University Council, Mr. Daniel Gyimah, to cancel the special congregation to the effect of citing security considerations at the time the National Security Co-ordinator, Mr. Francis Poku and the Northern Regional Minister who is also the chairman of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), Hon. Boniface Abubakar Saddique, have denied any security implications.


After bemoaning the controversy that has generated among the media Baako said of Gyimah. ?He is my friend and I happened to meet him, I would have advised him to disclose his source and even if it would call for his removal as the chairman of the University council to redeem his image.?
Source: Chronicle
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