The Ashanti Regional Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sam Pyne, has criticized the authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) over the violence that ensued at the school on Monday.
The educationist, who was speaking on ‘Inside Politics’ on Radio XYZ 93.1, noted that although the rampaging students erred by vandalizing school properties running into millions of cedis, the managers of the school could have prevented the melee that has led to the closing down of the school.
“The school authorities should take the blame. No matter how the situation was, they could have used their intel to calm the situation,” Mr Pyne told host of the programme, Mugabe Maase.
To him, the authorities knew about the tension that was building up on campus yet they disregarded the issue until it escalated into violence.
The vandalism stemmed from a misunderstanding between the students and the school authorities that has been lingering ever since some all-male halls were converted into mixed ones.
The demonstration was also intended to kick against the ‘tyrannical’ style of the university administration and also express concern over the use of force by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, to cow the students into submission following some new directives to ban a usual singing and drumming sessions otherwise known as ‘morale’.
Before the demonstration, 11 students of the University Hall (Katanga) who had participated in the hall’s ‘morale’ on Friday had allegedly been brutalised and arrested by the university’s security men who later handed them to the KNUST Police Station, where they were detained.
The Executive Council of the Students Representative Council (SRC) then issued a notice to all students to boycott lectures on Monday and embark on a demonstration following the posture of the university’s authority.
A portion of the notice read: “enough is enough”.
However, on Monday, the supposed peaceful protest turned violent when the infuriated students, Clad in red and black attire and armbands, went berserk and started vandalising properties running into millions.
Lecturers and other staff of the university had to run for their lives when they realized the crowd was uncontrollable.
It is believed that the conversion which has brought about some changes in the usual ‘morale’ chanting in the school contributed to the vandalism.
Authorities of KNUST eventually had to shut down the university indefinitely, following the student rampageM.
The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC), which took the decision at an emergency meeting with the university authorities, also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the university campus with immediate effect.
Over 20 students were later arrested after the nasty demonstration.
XYZ News’ Ashanti Regional correspondent, Jonathan Ofori reported on Monday that the aggrieved students want the Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso to vacate his post following the hall conversion.
The Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh is expected to lead a government delegation to the campus to discuss how best the matter can be resolved.
Story by: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com/Ghana