By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, April 20, 2015
Folks, you must have heard reports that a group of “senior lecturers” at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) supporting the NPP have come together to do what they think will boost the NPP’s electoral chances at Election 2016.
Calling themselves “KNUST NPP Frontliners”, the group has the goal of helping the opposition party to offer policy alternatives and ideas to help improve the country’s socio-economic development.
“Our main aim is to organize KNUST NPP faithful who will serve as a think-tank ready to serve the party to win power in 2016 and beyond,” stated Dr. Kwabena Boadu, Chairman of group at the inaugural ceremony.
“Our vision is to be recognized as an elite group of supporters to influence policy direction. Our mission is to serve as an interface between the party and the electorate in explaining party policies and canvassing for votes”.(See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=355220)
As is to be expected, none other but the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Prof. Gyimah Boadi, who is reported to have made a strong case in support of these lecturers who want to do partisan politics. (See http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/April-20th/cdd-boss-welcomes-partisan-lecturers.php#sthash.SZZHjiLH.dpuf)
I unreservedly condemn such a move because it is unethical and dangerous to the university community at several levels. The lecturers were hired to lecture and not to do partisan politics, which is why the university authorities must act expeditiously to clip their wings before they cause any havoc. Not that their activities will change anything that has prevented the NPP and its Akufo-Addo from winning the 2008 and 2012 general elections.
There is nothing that these NPP lecturers will talk about that is not already known to Ghanaians. They love listening to their own voices and will as usual indulge in “book politics” to distance themselves all the more from the electorate. But their intentions violate the norms of decency in the university setting.
I commend he KNUST Public Relations Officer, Vincent Ankamah Lomotey, for making it clear that the group “will be in violation of the university’s rules if they carry their activities on campus”
This group is simply setting out to destabilize the situation at the university, clearly because it is unethical for those in public service (let alone lecturers, be they senior or junior staff) to engage in partisan politics, using the premises of the public institution.
In civilized democracies, no public official being paid from the consolidated fund can do partisan politics in any environment as the university campus. The danger is obvious; and sanctions should be imposed on anybody using the unive5rsity campus or facilities to promote any partisan political agenda.
The United States’ democracy is strong because restraints exist to check and balance human behaviour. At the workplace (be it an educational institution, a factory, any other), no one can engage in partisan politics. Teachers (at whatever level) cannot even identify openly with political parties and use any space in the institution to profess or carry out activities in pursuit of such partisan political purposes.
It is even strictly forbidden to raise religion in the pursuit of one’s professional interests. Sanctions will be imposed on defaulters. Thus, discipline and decency ensure that partisan politics is not injected into goings-on. In Ghana, no restraint exists or is enforced, which is why those lecturers at the KNUST have begun doing things this way. Why is there no respect for decency in Ghanaian affairs?
It is clear that these NPP lecturers have an agenda to cause mischief especially as far as the political activities of students opposed to the NPP are concerned. I sense some agenda of vindictiveness or plain intimidation against such non-NPP students.
In Ghanaian institutions of higher learning where grades are known to be “sexually transmitted” (meaning the lecturers have girlfriends among the students and favour them with undeserved grades while punishing young men they suspect of flirting with such girlfriends), introducing partisan politics into the equation will not serve any good purpose for the university community.
The government must move fast and work with the University Council to identify these NPP lecturers for punitive action as soon as they begin their partisan politicking on campus. The university authorities must freeze their salaries and later dismiss them if they flout the regulations regarding their professional work (and conditions/terms of employment).
These lecturers were hired to do what will improve the training of students in various fields of endeavour, not to indulge in partisan politics. They must be made to “profess” what they were hired for. If they have found partisan politics more attractive, then, they should be kicked out to do politics and not remain in the university’s payroll as lecturers.
I know for sure that the empty talker (Amoako-Baah) is a brain behind this movement. Many others wearing their thinking caps askew are with him; and they should be monitored and kicked out outright before they poison the environment at KNUST.
Lecturers at the other institutions contemplating such a move will learn bitter lessons from any punitive action taken against these NPP lecturers at KNUST.
My point is clear: Any lecturer (public servant, for that matter) being paid from the national coffers must not be allowed to do partisan politics. It is unethical and dangerous for the Ghanaian situation.
Student groupings that have identified with particular political parties also need to be circumspect in their activities so they don’t create or heighten tension. That is why the NPP’s TESCON and the NDC’s TEIN should be taken good care of so they don’t muddy the water anymore.
Back to these NPP lecturers. What do they think they have to offer anybody that is not already known? What sort of desperation is this?
Of course, I’m not in the least surprised because the NPP is deeply rooted in “booklong” and “rogue” politics, which continues to be its bane. The NPP people are fixated on “technicalities” (as we can confirm from the manner in which they are approaching the choice of a new Chair of the Electoral Commission; complaints about the voters register; and many other issues that won’t turn the voters’ crank to fall for them at the polls.
Instead of going to the field to woo the voters, they are sitting down in their offices and issuing useless public statements to flog a dead horse; and when told that they are political liabilities, they flex their muscles to fight. Such characters can’t ever learn any useful lesson to tilt the table in their favour.
They will form all manner of groups all over the country but won’t achieve their objective of being in power, clearly because they continue to detach themselves from the electorate.
Let these lecturers do all they can at the KNUST. They will end up fighting among themselves soon and hit the snag to fall on their own swords! A very loud Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea to them, then!!
I shall return…
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