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20.12.2006 General News

Kwaprow accuses UCC Vice-Chancellor

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Cape Coast, Dec. 20, GNA - The chiefs and people of Kwaprow, a community near the University of Cape Coast (UCC), on Tuesday accused the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the UCC, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng of straining the cordial relationship between the University and its surrounding communities.

They contended that it was only under the administration of Rev. Prof. Obeng, the sixth VC of the University that the surrounding communities were being "suppressed and suffocated" amidst threats and insults.

Addressing a press conference at Cape Coast on Tuesday, Nana Amowa II, 'Tufuhen' and Nana Kwesi Mensah II, chief of Kwaprow, expressed their disappointment over the behaviour of Rev. Prof. Obeng and his administration for the recent demolition exercise carried out in the community saying the land was not part of the University's lands. They also questioned why the buildings of some university dons and a minister of state, which were on the same site were not demolished during the exercise and accused the university administration of 'selective justice' if truly that part of their land belonged to the university.

The chiefs said the university had constructed a fence wall between its lands and that of Kwaprow lands and saw no reason why after demarcating their boundaries they should harass developers at Kwaprow and deny had working citizens their rights of owning houses.

They also said a proposed gate to be constructed by the university would restrict their movement and make them prisoners in their own town and therefore threatened to demolish it if it was built.

Giving a background to the misunderstanding between the university and the communities, Nana Amowa said since 1967 the communities had been agitating for the payment of compensation for their lands acquired by government because they claimed they had not been paid anything. He said during the tenure of office of the former VC, Professor Samuel Kwasi Adjepong, in 1995, the surrounding communities including Apewosika, Akotokyir, Kokoado and Ankaful petitioned his administration to offer lands to them to enable them to expand their infrastructure and it was granted.

Nana Amowa said the Adjepong administration then planted teak trees to demarcate the university lands from the surrounding communities, but it was unfortunate that the present administration had been unfair to them and challenged them to check their records and furnish the communities with the 'truth' because the Land Administration Project (LAP) demarcated 3,184 acres of land for the communities.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the University Mr Jeff Onyame denied all the allegations and said the developers were given several warnings to stop work but they did not heed them and stressed that the lands were university lands and the court gave judgment in 2004 in their favour to carry out with the demolition. He said due to the recent attacks on students living in the area, the university decided to build a gate and wall the area as part of security measures to check the movement of people and vehicles to safeguard the lives and property of both students and lecturers. Mr Onyame said the UCC authorities would meet the Kwaprow elders on Thursday, December 21, to thrash out the issue because the misunderstanding stemmed from lack of information flow.

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