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Independent committee to probe KNUST disturbances – Otumfuo

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, and also the Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has hinted of the setting up of an independent committee to probe recent student disturbances at the institution.

The three-member independent committee, he said, would be chaired by Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Her Ladyship Justice Rose Owusu.

“The committee is to investigate circumstances that led to the disturbances and come out with a roadmap to chart the path towards avoiding issues of such sort in the future,” the Asantehene told a special congregation ceremony of the University in Kumasi.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said it was imperative that stakeholders within the KNUST community resorted to the use of tact, diplomacy and dialogue in addressing issues and charged them to respect decorum, while being mindful of the repercussions of their own actions, saying “Any culture which is not dynamic dies”.

The Chancellor abhorred the negative image that became associated with the University due to the student disturbances and that, it was in the interest of all stakeholders to resolve to act in accordance with laid down rules and regulations relating to all emerging impasse.

KNUST, Ghana’s premier science and technology tertiary institution, was in October, last year, closed down temporarily when some aggrieved students decided to go on the rampage, destroying property worth several thousands of Ghana Cedis.

The protest, according to the student body, was in response to what they described as orchestrated and systematic maltreatment meted out to them by the authorities.

In the heat of the impasse, the University Council was dissolved, while some core staff also decided to, at a point in time, lay down their tools over misunderstanding on reconstitution of the Council.

They included; members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) and Senior Staff Association (SSA).

Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice-Chancellor of the University, in his report to the congregation, described the incident as a scar to the institution’s hard-won image.

In spite of the debacle, he said, the University authorities remained focused and would continue to work to meeting their mandate for sustainable development of the institution.

This year’s ceremony saw a total of 3, 729 graduates, made up of 1, 268 undergraduates and 2, 461 post-graduates from all the six colleges being awarded certificates.

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