Gov’t solely to blame for KNUST delayed reopening – UTAG

The KNUST chapter of the university teachers association of Ghana has refuted claims it is holding government and the university to ransom on its stance against reviewing its membership on the university council.

It is rather blaming government for deciding to launch an attack on the laid down conventions for voting their representatives unto council.

Addressing the media Wednesday in Kumasi, an executive member of KNUST UTAG Dr. Dr. Okyere Addai Mensah insisted that the unions will not allow government to subvert their statutes which clearly states who they nominate to council.

“Let me reiterate that the representative of UTAG and the other unions and associations in KNUST is not up for discussion with government. Our acts and statutes clearly states that every responsibility lies in the ambit of UTAG and the unions but not government,”

The association also put up a direct challenge on the claims that the council failed to anticipate and avert the student demonstration and destructions on campus

Dr Dr Addai Mensah questioned, “Why did the same government then populate its own seven member interim council, with as many as five members of the old supposedly failed and incompetent council. If the destructive demonstration was an indication of the failure of the governing council, shall we be justified then to conclude that anything bad that has happened in the country in the recent past is an indication of the failure of the present government?”

UTAG also insisted government’s stance sets a bad precedence and undermines the authority of the chancellor Ottumfuo who was tasked to mediate the impasse

The local chairman of the Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) whose members were present in their numbers, Charles Attah took government to task on what he described as governments bad faith demonstrated towards the Asantehene.

National president of UTAG dr Eric Opoku Mensah who was present at the meeting has indicated that UTAG national is firmly behind its local chapter at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

He however lashed out at Civil Society Organizations for their silence over happenings at the KNUST campus.

“We want to encourage parents and well meaning Ghanaians to watch what is going on and speak out. This is the time we expect the peace council, the catholic bishops, the Chief Imam and the rest to come out and speak, We expect all major stakeholders in this country to watch what is unfolding and speak about this because if you don’t, we don’t know what is going to happen,” Dr Opoku Mensah warned.

The press conference also saw in attendance, global presidents of the KNUST alumni, and the non professorial convocation member of the council and the association of university administrators.

By: Ivan Heathcote – Fumador/Mary Akosua Atakora