….Agrees Renaming UDS after Ex-President
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, who hates with passion anything Jerry John Rawlings, last Saturday surprised many by seeing something worthy of commendation in his bitterest political enemy.
The managing editor of the New Crusading Guide, agreed to a suggestion that the University for Development Studies (UDS), should be named after the ex-President in recognition of his role in setting up the university.
Mr. Baako, a panellist on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme together with others, urged the governing council of UDS to go beyond conferring a doctorate degree on ex-President Rawlings, by naming the institution after him.
“I don’t have anything against that; it is up to the University [UDS] to take that decision,” said Kweku Baako Junior.
“This has nothing to do with government or party; the University as an institution could take that decision”, Mr. Baako stated further.
Kweku Baako also demanded explanations from the former UDS Council Chairman for cancelling the honour to the former president eight years ago.
According to him, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration led by ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, denied government involvement in the cancellation of the honour to Mr. Rawlings.
“History has offered him [Mr. D.C Gyimah] an opportunity…for him to come forward [and] clear his name…Even if somebody told him [to cancel the award] when all the denials came public…he should have exhibited a certain courage of conviction and come forward to give a further and better particulars as to why he as Chairman of the University Council took the decision he took”, Mr. Baako stressed.
UDS last week conferred the honour on the former Ghanaian leader for his contribution towards the establishment and growth of the university, an honorary doctorate degree and the erection of his bust on one of the campuses of the university to immortalise his role in the establishment of the institution.
Former President Rawlings, who was the Head of State and later President, donated his price money of US$50, 000 he received from the World Hunger Award in 1993 for books for the university.
He was denied the award by the same institution in 2005, after its Council Chairman then, Mr. D.C Gyimah wrote a letter cancelling the special congregation ceremony at the last minute citing “security reasons”.
However, there was unanimity among the panel of discussants on the weekly news analysis progrmame broadcast on the Joy News TV channel and Joy FM, suggesting that the UDS should be named after Jerry John Rawlings.
Kweku Rickets Haggan, Deputy Minister of Finance who was “happy” that the ex-president finally lived to received the award, rather wants the university authorities to consider naming certain facilities after Mr. Rawlings to start with.
“The University should not just jump at naming [it after] him, but eventually if the University thinks that they should name the University after him I would not have anything against it”.
But Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah, senior lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who in principle agrees to the suggestion said rather, the renaming should be done after Mr. Rawlings “has passed on”.
“Yes he deserves it…we can honour Rawlings after he’s passed on; not now. If you think [it is right] consider it,” Dr. Amoako-Baah stated.
A law lecturer at the University for Professional Studies, Godwin Adagwine believes the honour will among others, demonstrate to the world that the institution recognises Mr. Rawlings’ efforts in its establishment.