Police are firing warning shots and teargas at the University of Education Winneba (UEW) in a bid to push back student protestors who have since Tuesday been demanding the reinstatement of some dismissed lecturers.
At least 10 people have suffered varied degrees of injuries and currently receiving treatment at the university campus clinic, one of the students who witness the incident told 3news.com.
Personnel from the Formed Police Unit called in as reinforcement have clashed with the protesting students who are throwing stones in response to what they have described as police highhandedness in the peaceful protest.
Students are destroying school properties and pulling down billboards on campus, a witness to the scene reports.
The windscreen of the university SRC bus have been smashed, glasses of notice boards within the north campus have also been shattered while the Junior Common Room has also been damaged.
“There is teargas everywhere and everyone is running helter-skelter,” the witness said a while ago.
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 their #BringBackOurLecturers campaign which has garnered steam since Tuesday, the witness added.
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.
The protestors were said to be chanting their popular refrain ‘Bring Back Our Lecturers’ as they moved round the faculty building where some students were in their lecture halls.
The action of the police has incensed some students of the faculty who have started massing up around the Finpa roundabout close to the university administration, ostensibly to protest the police ‘highhandedness’ in handling the situation.
Some of them say they have been angered by the fact that the injured, which included food sellers, were not part of the protest.
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