..Provide proof within three working days or resign THE University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University for Development Studies (UDS) have expressed misgivings about the way the Chairman of the University Council, Mr Daniel Gyimah, handled issues relating to the cancellation of the Special Congregation.
The students asked Mr Gyimah to provide evidence of the petition he claimed was signed by the 472 students, which resulted in the cancellation of the programme to honour former President Jerry John Rawlings and Professor R. B. Benning, the foundation Vice-Chancellor of the UDS.
They also demanded that the chairman provided the proof within three working days or resign.
The SRC further threatened to take legal action against Mr Gyimah if their demands were not met.
These demands were made at a press conference addressed by the SRC President, Mr Abraham Naporo at the Nyankpala campus of the university, near Tamale, while that of the UTAG was contained in a press statement jointly signed by its president and secretary G. S. K. Dzoagbe and Thomas Azongo respectively.
According to the SRC President, the students' body received the news of the cancellation with disappointment and also felt insulted considering the fact that a section of the students' body was mentioned as being part of the reasons for the cancellation of the programme.
Mr Naporo stated that the SRC had not taken any position on the matter but would wait patiently until some basic facts were provided by the University Council's Chairman.
“However, the SRC cautions the Council Chairman not to underestimate the students' body in this matter because we are prepared to resist any form of intimidation from him,” the SRC President warned.
Mr Naporo also emphasised that “there is no other source to provide proof for the cancellation but the Council Chairman who had categorically stated as proof, a petition written and signed by 472 students indicating their displeasure of the special congregation under the pretext of insecurity.”
Recently, the UDS cancelled the Special Founders' Congregation, which was scheduled for Saturday, March 19, at its Nyankpala campus.
The authorities of the university cited “security considerations” as the reasons for the cancellation.
A statement issued in Tamale to that effect, stated that all enquiries about the cancellation should be directed to the Council Chairman directly for his attention.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Boniface Abubakar Saddique, had indicated that there was no security threat to the programme. The National Security Council and the government have also dissociated themselves from the cancellation of the programme.
Mr Gyimah earlier claimed that his reasons for taking that action were the alleged dissatisfaction expressed by 472 students of the UDS about the programme.
On the part of the UTAG, they noted that the initial explanation given by the chairman for the cancellation of the congregation seemed to be at variance with the reasons he gave to the press.
“UTAG-UDS branch believes that the chairman has acted in a manner that has caused enormous embarrassment to the university and which has also considerably shaken our confidence in him as the council chairman,” they stated.
In a related development, the former Chairman of the Physical Facilities Sub-Committee on the establishment of the university, Dr Abubakar Alhassan, has also stated that the former President deserved to be honoured in view of the personal efforts he made to get the UDS established.