‘VC must be blamed for everything’- KNUST alumni lawyer

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A lawyer and an alumnus of the University Hall, KNUST, who led the suit against the conversion of the hall into a mixed-sex hall, Stephen Asante Bekoe, is blaming the recent violent protests at the University on what he describes as a systematic failure from the school’s authorities.

According to him, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Obiri Danso should be blamed for the violent protests that occurred in the school on Monday.

Speaking in an interview, Mr. Asante Bekoe said the protests were not only as a result of the brutalizing of students by the School’s security but also due to other unfavorable decisions taken by the school’s management including the Vice-Chancellor.

“I blame the Vice-Chancellor, for everything happening now and I must be honest,” he said.

He also refuted claims that the students were triggered by the conversion of the single-sex halls into mixed halls.

“I saw females as part of the demonstration. So clearly it has got nothing to do with the hall conversion.”

He also explained that the demonstrations were peaceful until the Vice-Chancellor sent in Police and Military men to disrupt the protests.

“It’s becoming too oppressive and suppressive. They started peacefully, all of a sudden buses and armor cars and whatever with policemen and this time soldiers came in. They started firing shots… Both males and females were all involved, but the numbers had blocked the entrance, that was it. They had not touched any property at the time. It was when the policemen and soldiers came in at the instance of the vice-chancellor and they started firing and the students said we will throw our lives on board,” he said.

Meanwhile, due to the development, students, except foreign nationals of the school have been asked to vacate the school premises by midday on Tuesday, October 23, 2018.

The school will be closed down indefinitely in the wake of the unrest.

We can also confirm that the Council has imposed a 12-hour curfew on the campus from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, which took effect on Monday.

Background

The arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school compelled the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to mobilize for the Monday protest.

The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus last Friday without permission, according to the school authorities.

One other student who was allegedly manhandled by the internal security was hospitalized at the KNUST hospital.

The Executive Council of the SRC said the demonstration was necessary to convey students’ frustration over disrespect and oppression by the school.

The arrests came after the KNUST management served notice that it had suspended the organization of vigils (morales) in the school.

The management said this was because of “several negative issues encountered recently concerning morales in the hall.”

Some of the protestors called for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.

The SRC said the actions of the campus security and the police officers were a “gross deviation” because the two agencies were instead to protect them.

The Council also promised students that it would ensure the security officers who allegedly beat up students are held accountable while urging students to remain calm.

Over twenty students have been arrested following the incident.

 

Source: CNR

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