Stay away from KNUST issues – UTAG warns politicians

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has warned politicians to desist from interfering with the issues relating to the demonstration which followed alleged brutalities meted out to students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Over the weekend, some students of the university were allegedly brutalized by some internal security personnel at KNUST. This situation led to one student severely injured, and subsequently admitted at a hospital. Following the incident, students of the university through the leadership of the SRC President declared a boycott of lectures and marched on Monday, October 22 to register their displeasure.

The march did not go as peaceful as planned and this resulted in students destroying property including private and official vehicles parked at the administration block of the university. A joint security force of police and military personnel had to intervene to prevent the students from causing further destruction, and some 20 students were arrested in the process, though later granted bail. The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) in consultation with management of the university subsequently announced a closedown of the university indefinitely. When news of the incident broke, social media and the main media platforms were filled with comments of ordinary Ghanaians and some political figures, expressing varying opinions on the issue with many condemning the brutalities. Some of these politicians, however, sought to play the blame game by alleging that some political figures had masterminded the violence. It is on the back of this that UTAG, in a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah, on Tuesday noted that these political actors should not interfere with happenings at KNUST. “UTAG has also observed with concern unguarded comments from some political actors and wishes to caution such people to stay away and allow the university and its structures to bring this matter to an amicable resolution.” The Association condemned the acts of vandalism exhibited by the students during Monday’s demonstration. “While UTAG believes in the rights of students to go on lawful demonstrations, it is however appalled by the acts of vandalism, bodily injuries and destruction of properties on the campus.” UTAG charged government to put measures in place to safeguard the lives of staff at the university. The Association also noted that they are monitoring the situation, and would cooperate with relevant stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the issues at hand.
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By Irene Amesimeku||Ghana]]>