As Academic Board Hijacks University Councils Power In Legon
The National Security Coordinator, has been highly applauded for instilling discipline in the authorities of the University of Ghana (UG), who had refused wise counsel and situated a tollbooth almost in the middle of a highway thus, “causing a complete nuisance” to motorists.
In a rare occurence, a former Deputy Minister of the Interior under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Nana Obiri Boahen, publicly commended Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, for carrying out the demolishing saying, the University of Ghana roads are public roads, hence could not be levied by authorities of the state institution.
In total disagreement with three other vociferous elements of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri-Boahen, jumped to the defense of the Security Capo, describing his action as the most appropriate solution to the menace being perpetuated by Ghana’s premier University.
An NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, also commended Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, for ordering the demolition exercise.
Dr. Tony Aidoo, an Ambassador designate and a former head of the Policy Evaluation Unit of The Office of President, has also highly praised Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, for carrying out the demolition exercise saying, Ghana has become too lawless.
Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, a former Local Government and Rural Development Minister, has also shown support to the demolition exercise.
Last Tuesday’s morning demolishing exercise, which brought down an on-going tollbooth structure with a security post, has attracted the irk of mainly NPP elements including, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby and Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Kwaku Baako Jnr.
Shockingly, Counsel for two students of the University, contesting the appropriateness of the tolls, Egbert Faibille Jnr, and owner of the Ghanaian Observer also threatened to initiate contempt action against Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, for what he claims was interference in his legal case.
But speaking on Asempa’s “Ekosi Sen” on Wednesday, a day after the demolition, Nana Obiri Boahene, an astute lawyer disagreed with all those bashing Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, saying he acted right as he (Nana Obiri Boahene) will have done same, if he was the National Security boss.
Dr. Wereko-Brobby, an ex-Chief Executive of the Ghana@50 Secretariat is on record to have asked President John Mahama to sack his security boss, if he does not endorse the demolition action, whiles Mr. Baako claimed he was against the collection of the toll but “I don’t know the legal basis for the action…does public nuisance constitute national security? We have not been told that it was a national security threat…the matter could have been handled with finesse; without any difficulty…it was needless and avoidable,”
Nana Obiri Boahen, was worried about the University’s adamant attitude and culture of impunity on the situation after government through Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, asked the University to stop the collection of the tolls, adding that Government was prepared to service the loan it claimed it secured from an unknown bank to re-construct the road.
The Brong Ahafo Region-based lawyer, noted that since many attempts by Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, to stop the structure fell on death ears, the only option left for him as an authority was to move his men to stop the nuisance that was being perpetuated by the University.
Nana Obiri Boahen, an executive of the NPP in the Brong Ahafo Region, questioned Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey’s critics if they were expecting him to watch unconcern for the University to finish the construction of the booth before moving in to demolish it.
“I think Gbevlo acted right, because if I were in his shoes, I will have done the same. Why should the University not be bothered by the many directives from the Chief of Staff and others, but continued to do what they want?
“This is not politics; I think that if something is going on and it is wrong, we should speak out and defend the right thing. If he has done it, he has done it”, he said.
On the same show, a panelist and an NPP MP for Akim Swedru, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, agreed with Nana Obiri Boahen saying, under the circumstance, Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey , acted within the law as he was in-charge of security of the entire of nation, including University of Ghana.
The MP, who said, he uses the Okponglo section of the road every day, attested to traffic that piles up on that part of the road and that there was the need for something to be done as it “had a potential to create chaos”.
“So National Security, they are in-charge of security matters in the country. If they see something that has the potential to create mayhem in the country, they are the first people to turn to, to make sure the right things are put in place”.
He was, however, worried that Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey’s engagement with the authorities ended only with the head of security ACP Amadu, who the National Security boss said, had ignored his request to call him for discussion on the relocation of the toll booth.
A former Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, also called into the show to associate himself with the comments.
Meanwhile, the Academic Board of the University yesterday after an “academic special meeting” directed the University to initiative court action against
the National Security boss for his actions last Tuesday on their premises.
A ten-point document by the academic board, directed the university management to take legal action against the National Security Coordinator and his team claiming, the perpetuators of the demolishing entered into the University’s property without prior permission from the University of Ghana, adding it was against the University of Ghana’s Act 2010 Act 807.
They described the action as unlawful, arbitrarily, unconstitutional and a direct attack on academic freedom and called on Government to condemn the act and also initiate steps to replace the two structures.
What is interesting about the directive is that it was ordered by the Academic Board of the University, not the highest decision-making body of the University, which is the University Council, headed by Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, a retired Supreme Court Justice.
Reports are that the National Security boss has indicated his readiness to meet the University in court over the matter.