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30.01.2009 General News

NDC named in UDS fracas

By The Chronicle
NDC named in UDS fracas

Information reaching The Chronicle has revealed that the controversies surrounding the suspension of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Central Students Representative Council (SRC) President, Naab S.A. Alphonse for alleged misconduct has taken a political dimension.

It is alleged that the Majority Leader Alban Bagbin, the Wa Central MP Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo and other top officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), as well as the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are expressing interest in the issue, apparently to maintain their popu¬larity on campus.

The Chronicle source alleged that top government officials in Accra have called for copies of all documents and other corresponding materials implicating the SRC President and his Secretary, Mr. Owusu Aboagye.

As a result the Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, according to our source was in the Upper West region and later followed by the Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Mr. Rashid Pelpuo, who are alleged to have held some meet¬ings with the students and assured them of forwarding their grievances to the top for immediate action.

The MPs appealed to the stu¬dents not to go on with their planned demonstration that was scheduled for Monday until Friday January 30, 2009 by which time they might have gotten answers to their concerns.

When the editorial team in Accra contacted Hon. Alban Bagbio, he denied holding any meeting with students at the Wa campus of the University.

He however, admitted that his colleague MP Hon. Rashid Pelpuo did meet the student leadership and the university authorities over planned demonstration by students against the university head.

According to Mr. Bagbin, Pelpuo told him that be decided to intervene because the intended demonstration would disturb the peace in the Wa municipality, where he is the sitting MP.

According to him at the end of the meeting the students decided to suspend the demonstration. The University authorities also agreed to soften their stand on the suspen¬sion of the student. I did not attend any meeting as you are saying, he said.

In an interview the The Chronicle, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kaku Sagari Nokoe expressed worry about the quick politicisation of the issue, which he said was purely an internal an inter¬nal affair. He pleaded with the "behind the scene" politicians to allow due process to take its own cause.

Also in an interview a Dean of the UDS Wa Campus, Rev. Prof Abraham Berinyu confirmed the meeting held between the students and some politicians which he wit¬nessed, but explained that even though the Majority Leader Alban Bagbin was in Wa and spoke with some officials of the University over the issue although he did not sit in the meeting.

It would be recalled that the UDS Central SRC President Mr. Naab Alpbonse was on November 28, 2008, suspended through a let¬ter served by the acting Vice ¬Chancellor, Prof. Nokoe for use of abusive language and granting of unauthorized radio interviews among other things which alleged¬ly tarnished the image of the uni¬versity.

Following the suspension of the student leader, the SRC Central General Assembly called for the total boycott of lectures on Monday, January 26, 2009, in soli¬darity and after which there would have been a demonstration through the principal streets of Wa to present a petition through the Regional Co-ordinating Council to President John Evans Atta Mills.

However, the security agencies according to The Chronicle information stepped in and pleaded with the students to rescind their decision.

Meanwhile, prior to the planned demonstration, the SRC Presidents of the Navrongo and Nyankpala Campuses of the UDS had issued a resolution to the authorities to bring the Central President to order, for taking decisions without their con¬sent.

In a telephone interview with The Chronicle, the SRC President of the Nyankpala Campus, Mr. Ada Ebsah Isaac noted that his interest was not to see the University authorities suspending the Central SRC President, Mr. Naab Alphonse, of his position, but to rather outline his roles or advise him to consult other executives in his dealings.

He was not happy about the way some political heads were meddling in the matter which was purely an internal affair.

According to Mr. Ebsah, the Central President would have received the full backing of stu¬dents and executives of other cam¬puses, if he had recognized them as part of his administration.

Recently, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Kaku Sagari Nokoe, told The Chronicle that the decision to suspend the Central SRC President still holds until the ad-hoc Disciplinary Committee set up to independently investigate his (Mr. Naab) alleged misconduct comes out with its final report.