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KNUST Riots: New Council Must Not Include Old Members – Oppong Nkrumah

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The government has hinted that the old members of the KNUST governing council cannot be part of the new council.

Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Monday, November 6, 2018, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that, the old council were part of the impasse that led to the closure of the school and thus they are subjects of full investigation when school resumes.

“Just as the actions of students, student’s leaders and school management will be subjects of the full investigation when the University is re-opened, so will the actions and inactions of the old council be subject of that investigation.”

He added that specific persons who constituted the old council cannot preside over the matters in which their own decisions and conduct will be a subject.

“It is in this spirit that government and some other groups have already indicated new nominees,” he indicated.

The school was shut down after the outbreak of violence and destruction of property following the students’ demonstration of October 22. Government intervened with a series of Emergency and Interim measures on the University campus.

Though the Interim council was given up to three months, government’s subsequent assessment was that it can hand over the University and all emergency measures taken to a new council, earlier than expected, if one is agreed upon and inaugurated as soon as possible.

Background

On October 22, this year, there was an outbreak of violence and destruction of property following a demonstration of students of KNUST campus in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

Following that, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) took a decision to shut down the university and also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the university campus.

The students, who went on a peaceful demonstration against the ‘tyrannical’ style of the university administration, turned violent, leading to the massive destruction of property worth about Ghc1.7million.

The demonstration was also intended to express grave concern over the use of force by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, to cow them into submission.

Before the demonstration, 11 students of the University Hall (Katanga) who had participated in the usual entertainment programme (otherwise called moral session) of the hall on Friday, October 19 were allegedly brutalised and arrested by the university’s internal security men and handed over to the KNUST Police Station, where they were detained.

Moral sessions are processions of students, usually on campus, amid singing and dancing, and are very common with the all-male halls of residence.

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