The power play at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) that created the current crisis leading to the shutdown of the school, appears to have taken a new dimension that is likely to worsen the longstanding crisis.
Few hours after the Central Regional Security Council declared the Winneba and Ajumako campuses of the university indefinitely closed, MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who has been neck deep in the impasse, announced a contrary decision.
Students of the university were given up to 6:00pm Thursday to vacate the Winneba and Ajumako campuses by the REGSEC in the wake of the violent incident.
The REGSEC together with the Police have since ensured the shutdown is enforced. However Afenyo-Markin late Thursday night took to Facebook to announce the reopening of the university without recourse to the REGSEC.
“I am happy to inform all students that REGSEC has ordered the immediate reopening of the university. All UEW students are free to remain in the various halls of residence,” the MP announced late Thursday in a Facebook post.
He claimed the police have been “duly informed” and that no student will be prevented from entering campus.
But Chairman for the REGSEG, Kwamena Duncan has denied the MPs claim, saying “it is not true”.
He insisted the university remains closed until all the matters which are the subject of the impasse are resolved by the authorities and stakeholders.
“I have not sent anyone to announce that the school should be reopened,” Mr Duncan told our correspondent Friday morning.
The REGSEC chairman indicated that it is only himself who is mandated to speak on the matter on behalf of the REGSEC, adding he has not held discussions or given anyone the authority whatsoever to make such pronouncement.
Mr Duncan who is also the Central Regional Minister argued his authority “is non-transferable. If you’re the chairman, you take responsibility, you don’t have the power by law to transfer your duties to someone else who is not even a member of the council who purports to act on your behalf”
The university council, management as well as the Minister of State in charge of tertiary education and the minister of Education, he said, are resolving the subject matter of the impasse, and that the REGSEC will only wait for the outcome before a decision could be taken on the reopening of the university.
He said after the issues are resolved, the REGSEC will assess the security situation before an announcement could be made.
Why the impasse?
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.