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Crisis hits GIJ; Council members on collision with Mgt. members

A brewing crisis, arising out of some decisions of the governing council of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), is likely to cripple academic activities of the Institute.

Highly placed sources say the Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh-led council is on a collision course with some management members of the Institute, including the Rector, Dr. Wilberforce Dzisah, who has since been ordered to proceed on leave.

The acting Vice Rector, Dr. Ebo Afful, has been asked to move back to his department while the Registrar, Perry P.K Ofosu, is also to proceed on leave with immediate effect.

“We knew long ago that the plan was to remove the top three; starting from the rector and so they [the Governing Council] needed to use some mechanisms to support whatever action they will take,” a highly placed source told 3News Friday.

The Council was said to have held a meeting with the staff of the Institute on Friday, February 2 without recourse to the Management.

Prior to his being asked to go on leave, our sources say, the registrar who is also the Secretary to the governing council was disallowed from participating in the January 31 meeting at which the decisions were taken.

The Council replaced Mr. Ofosu as the Secretary.

Some Council members ‘not qualified’

Meanwhile, the legality of the composition of the governing council is being questioned with emerging claims that some of the members are not qualified to be a part of the body.

The Council is responsible for determining the strategic direction of the Institute and ensure their implementation and achievement.

The inclusion of Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh, Mr. Akwasi Owusu Agyeman, Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, Dr. Kweku Rockson and Dr. Mrs. Margaret Amoakohene on the Council have been questioned by some management members who spoke to 3News on the apparent crisis on condition of anonymity.

Per the composition of the Council, the National Media Commission is required to nominate one person to represent the media on the Council, just as the GIJ Alumni and the Ministry for Education.

However, according to the sources, the Minister for Education rejected the nominations of the GIJ Alumni and the Media Commission, and put on the Council his preferred candidate without recourse to the two bodies.

“The NMC was supposed to have nominated somebody from the media industry and they nominated Affail Monney. The minister took out Affail Monney’s name and decided to replace him with Akwasi Owusu Agyemang,” one of the sources told 3news.com.

The sources added that in the case of the GIJ Alumni, in view of the absence of strong GIJ alumni, the practice has been that the alumni on campus (lecturers) meet and elect who should represent them anytime such situation arises.

“That was done and Ebo [Afful] was elected to represent the alumni. That name too was rejected by the Minister [for Education] and replaced him with Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari,” the source said.

In the case of the Ministry for Education, the person to be nominated to the Council should be someone who is not below the rank of a director in the Ministry.

However, the sources say the Minister ignored that, and rather nominated Dr. Kweku Rockson of UPSA, who is not a director at the Ministry, to the Council.

“He doesn’t qualify to be there,” the source told 3news.com

Touching on the case of Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh and Dr. Mrs. Margaret Amoakohene, the sources say the two are lecturers at the University of Ghana School of Communications; a school that is in competition with GIJ.

The sources are thus raising issues of conflict of interest.

“The institution [UG Sch. of Communications] that they are is a competitor of GIJ and even when you go beyond that, somebody like Margaret Amoakohene who is a member of the Council of State. How does she become a member of the Governing Council of GIJ? If there is a problem that has to go to the Council of state, can she sit in?” the sources queried

The governing council has since taking office last year, been among other things, investigating some alleged cases of academic dishonesty and procurement infractions.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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