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31.03.2007 General News

Student leaders contribute to corruption - NUGS President

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The President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Mr William Yamoah, has said student leaders were partly to blame for corruption in the country.

Mr Yamoah said the level of dishonesty demonstrated by aspirants for leadership in student politics had given the impression that politics was all about money.

He said competence, which used to be the criterion for electing student leaders, had now been relegated to the background.

“The future of this country is bleak unless student leaders change their attitude,” he said.

Speaking at the Students' Representative Council Week celebration of Wisconsin International University College in Accra, Mr Yamoah said it was clear that students who spent a lot of money to win election concentrated on how to amass wealth for themselves at the expense of the larger student body.

He said corruption had become a scar on the conscience of everyone in the country due to the activities of politicians and there was no doubt that politicians sometimes influenced student leaders to accept certain policies of government through monetary rewards, even though the policies might not be in the interest of the generality of the student population.

Mr Yamoah called on student leaders to demonstrate a sense of honesty to show the population that politics was not a dirty game.

The President of All African Students Union (AASU), Mr Ibrahim Murtala, bemoaned the poor contribution of student leaders to democracy in the country.

”Whereas student groups in neighbouring countries such as Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have reached maturity in their contribution to democracy, it looks like we have actually reached a stage of diminishing returns,” he stated.

Mr Murtala said politicians had succeeded in penetrating the student front and it was common to observe candidates in elections either at the school level or national level being sponsored by politicians.

He said student leaders who were to serve as elements of change ended up conspiring with authorities to stifle students' interest in the name of non-violence or dialogue.

Mr Murtla said the participation of students in politics had led to the growth of democracy in the country and called on the leadership of NUGS to stand up to the test of time by serving the interest of students.

Source: GNA

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