The Central Regional Security Council has indefinitely shut down two campuses of the University of Education following violent protests Thursday leading to injuries of some students and destruction of university property.
Students of the university have up to 6:00pm today to vacate the Winneba and Ajumako campuses, Central Regional Minister Kwamina Duncan ordered after visiting the school in the wake of the violent incident.
He described the scene at the Winneba campus as chaotic, and explained the latest decision is to ensure lives and property are protected, saying “we cannot sit down for this [violence] to continue”.
Though calm is said to have returned, heavily armed police personnel on the Winneba campus to prevent any further violent incident by the students who have been demanding the reinstatement of their dismissed lecturers, and also asking for the resignation of their vice chancellor Rev Prof Afful-Broni.
Students and police personnel ensuring law and order on the university campus clashed Thursday morning following the firing of warning shots and teargas by the later to disperse the protesting students near the faculty of Educational Studies.
Personnel from the Formed Police Unit called in as reinforcement were pelted by the protesting students who accused them of highhandedness, claiming they were unjustifiably chased into bushes and out of the university campus by the Police.
At least 10 people have suffered varied degrees of injuries and were rushed to the university campus clinic for treatment, one of the students who witness the incident told 3news.com.
The angry students resorted to destruction of school properties, as they pulled down billboards, smashed the windscreen of one of the SRC buses and caused destruction to the Junior Common Room as well as some notice boards on campus.
Eight warning shots were initially fired by the Winneba Police at the Faculty of Educational Studies, close to the university canteen as the protestors moved there to rally their colleagues to join in their #BringBackOurLecturers campaign, which has garnered steam since Tuesday, a witness told 3news.com.
The witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said the teargas were fired into the faculty building where some lectures were ongoing at around 9:00am Thursday. They also fired some into the canteen and into the bushes where some of the protestors took cover.
What caused the incident?
Power play at the university involving some top management staff has in the past year caused a seeming crisis in the school following what some described as unlawful removal of Prof Mawutor Avoke as the Vice chancellor.
Several others including senior lecturers of the university, have since been sacked, suspended and demoted by Rev Prof Afful-Broni whose appointment as the VC was said to have been influenced by MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markin.
But barely a year after his investiture, the MP is pushing for the removal of his ‘friend’ Prof Afful-Broni, something that has been backed by the student body and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
The calls for Afful-Broni’s removal or resignation was among other things, necessitated by the recent crisis stemming from the latest dismissal of some senior lecturers of the university, including the local president of UTAG, Dr. Frimpong Kakyire Duku and Dr Emmanuel Osei Sarpong, who was accused of insubordination and thus misconduct.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana