A damaged bus
What started as a low key power struggle among the top echelon of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) in the Central Region has exploded into a full blown crisis, forcing the authorities to close down the university.
There were violent clashes and destruction of property on the campus of the tertiary institution yesterday.
The District Security Committee was compelled to recommend the closure of the university after the violence escalated.
As a result, students were given up to 6pm to vacate the campus, an action which was confirmed by the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan.
The Regional Minister explained that the Kumasi and Mampong campuses of the university would not be affected by the directive.
Unlike other disturbances in tertiary institutions, this one involves students getting embroiled in the dismissal of lecturers and restoration of the former Vice Chancellor to his post.
The removal of the VC and the dismissal of some lecturers led to disquiet in the school.
Police personnel from the Formed Police Unit (FPU), who were deployed to the campus to maintain law and order and protect lives and property, fired teargas to disperse the crowd.
According to reports, 10 persons sustained varying degrees of injury while a number of property, including a vehicle were destroyed.
The students were said to be enraged by the management of the situation by the police.
By the time normalcy was restored, the Junior Common Room, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) bus and a notice board had been damaged.
Former Vice Chancellor of UEW, Prof Mawutor Avoke, was removed from office through the MP for the Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, but a Supreme Court quashed a Winneba High Court decision which led to the action.
As the seeming drama unfolded, President Akufo-Addo swore in Rev. Fr. Prof Anthony Afful-Broni as the Vice Chancellor.
Currently, the incumbent VC is being accused of arbitrary dismissal of students and embezzlement of public funds.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the concerned alumni say they are providing relevant documents to the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu and Auditor General, Daniel Domelovo, to investigate circumstances surrounding what they think is the misappropriation of GH¢5.7 million.
The students claimed the dismissal of 30 persons from the school cannot be justified.
They are also not happy that the VC has increased the grading system, moving the First Class Grade Point Average (GPA) from 3.5 to 3.6.
According to them, he recently dismissed three senior lecturers, the UEW UTAG Chapter President, Dr. Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh and Prof Sarpong, which infuriated the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
The National President of UTAG, Dr Eric Opoku Mensah, said “the victimisation and polarisation on UEW campus is at variance with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call on the VC during his installation last year to reconcile all factions regarding the impasse which existed before his investiture.”
“Thirty people have been sacked, suspended or demoted arbitrarily so far,” Dr Opoku Mensah said.
“Having failed his assigned task, it is the considered position that Prof Afful-Broni should resign honourably to save UEW from further chaos. UTAG is demanding an unconditional reinstatement of all staff who have been dismissed, demoted or suspended.’
Prof Afful-Broni has allegedly sacked 12 lecturers since he was sworn-in by President Akufo-Addo in 2018.