Tomorrow For UDS Award
By Alfred K Dogbey
Former President Jerry John Rawlings, will tomorrow Saturday October 12, storm the Northern Regional capital, Tamale to receive an honour from the University, he selflessly donated his prize money to help establish, exactly twenty years, ago.
It is unclear what form the honour to be presented at the Tamale City Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), will take. It is also unclear whether the university might be renamed after Mr. Rawlings.
But spokesperson for Mr. Rawlings, Kofi Adams, has in an exclusive interview with The Herald confirmed his boss will be present at UDS tomorrow to receive the award from the school authorities, whose earlier attempt to honour Mr. Rawlings, was sensationally rebuffed by the then UDS Council Chairman, Charles Daniel Gyimah, an influential figure in the ex-while John Kufuor government.
Insiders say a statue of Mr. Rawlings positioned at the main entrance of the Nyankpala Campus of the university will be unveiled tomorrow, to honour the man who used his US$50,000 Hunger Project cash prize in 1993 as seed money to sponsor the establishment of the state-owned
university, the first of its kind in the three Northern Regions.
President John Dramani Mahama, who served as a Deputy Minister and Minister respectively, in the Rawlings government, is also expected to grace the ceremony.
Mr. Adams disclosed that ex-First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, would be by her husband, when the award is conferred on him tomorrow.
Mr. Rawlings’ speech to be delivered on the occasion, The Herald gathered would be devoid of his usual political boom, but would center purely on academic.
The Registrar of UDS, Dr. A.B.T Zakariah, has said that the university authorities have concluded arrangements with the office of former President Rawlings.
Dr. Zakariah said, ex-President Rawlings’ contribution to the successes of the UDS cannot be underestimated.
He noted that the former president would forever be adored for establishing the premier northern university which has created several opportunities for students across the country.
It would be recalled that the National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ludwig Akpene Hlodze, while addressing hundreds of students on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at the Engineering auditorium of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology [KNUST] appealed to UDS authorities to consider renaming the school after its founder, Jerry John Rawlings.
According to him, Mr. Rawlings had done the nation a good job for donating his reward (money) from the Hunger Project to the establishment of UDS, instead of using the money for his personal benefits or property for his family.
He said “Jerry John Rawlings could have decided to use the money to build a house in Sogakope or Dzelukope for himself and his family, but he didn’t, he instead, used the money to establish the UDS which has contributed to the human resource development in Ghana.
“It is about time the NDC government considered renaming that University after Jerry John Rawlings because he deserves it”, Ludwig stated.
Ludwig recounted the successes chalked by Mr. Rawlings in the education sector under the first NDC regime, essentially the establishment of polytechnics across the ten regional capitals, UDS as well as other educational projects completed under the last three years of President Mills’ Administration are massive.
Meanwhile, sources at the university’s administration has hinted The Herald that, paper work for renaming of the university is also underway.