It’s really disheartening to see a university I attended almost in tatters. The University of Education Winneba (UEW) has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for the past two years or so.
From afar, and rightly so, one sees the interplay of politics and tribalism as the initialising reasons of the problems that have bedevilled the University in recent times. The University has many challenges that hamper smooth academic work. Prominent is the lack of infrastructure. For the sake of protecting the image of my alma mater, I wouldn’t go into the nitty-gritty of the many challenges that have over the years, stood against the forward-match of the University.
When I take a peep into what’s happening, it gives me grave worries. To me, it’s like adding additional load to an already dying camel and still expecting it to move. UEW was established to provide training for would-be teachers in the country and probably beyond. It essentially means, the mandate of building a competent human resource base, necessary for accelerated development of Ghana, has been placed on the University. Doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc. are all produced by teachers and these teachers were/are expected to be trained by UEW.
Can we say the University has lived up to expectation since its birth? This is a multi-million question that would be answered some other day.
Fast forward to the focus of this article. We all recall that Afenyo Markins waged a sustained war on people he believed to be corrupt and derailing the progress of the University. He ultimately won the fight which meant that his suspicions prior to the war, were with a concrete basis. It’s emerging that the current VC, Rev Afful Broni played a monumental role in ousting Fmr VC, Prof Avoke. He leaked vital documents of the University to Afenyo which were used to nail the corrupt officials.
Having himself assisted in cleaning the mess, a natural sequel therefrom, is that he’ll sustain the space which was just cleaned when put in charge. God in His infinite wisdom, put Rev Prof Afful Broni in charge of the University. We all waited with bated breath to see how a new paradigm was going to takeover UEW.
I, for one, expected many things from the Reverend Professor. Such things that will eliminate the problem of resource inadequacy which continues to be a benign tumour in the progress of the University. The laxity in the system where students have to wait for one full year in order to obtain certificates after completion, which essentially makes degree acquisition from the University five years instead of four, was to be removed by the Reverend – Alhajj Suleman said so confidently.
I’m deeply befuddled and feel misled looking at the events that have unfolded a few months down the line after the Reverend’s ascension on to the highest office of the University. Probably, Prof Avoke was only just corrupt, he syphoned monies through blurred contracts and deliberate procurement infractions. There’s graduation from surreptitious stealing to plane daylight stealing under the Reverend.
I cringed when I chanced on a document which details the wanton dissipation of the University’s meagre finances. It left me jaw-dropping to see thousands of cedis going into the payment of perdiems and very dubious (on the face of the record) allowances. Did you come to build your stomach or the University? p
Please answer me anytime you read this piece. Some students stand on their feet at the lecture theatres while a lecture is ongoing because there’re no tables and chairs. I dare say, the kind of allowances I saw people believed to be cronies of the Reverend pocketing, can in a twinkle of an eye, solve at once, the desks shortage problems in the University.
Alas! God probably put the Reverend in charge to expose his true intentions behind the assistance he gave in the ousting of Prof Avoke. This doesn’t mean Prof Avoke is innocent or vindicated. It only diagrams the lesser of the two evils in a more practical way, to the sight of all onlookers. The devil doesn’t only comes to steal but to also destroy, so does the Bible say.
Why is the Reverend victimising respected lecturers of the University on grounds of dissent? Don’t whimper: we know it’s because those lecturers are not in his ‘camp’. Why do you even create camps in the first place when you ought to be focusing on building a world-class University? Conversely, the Reverend didn’t only come to steal. His abhorrence for dissent and thirst to go after dissenting voices, make him a complete misfit for the office he holds.
In many years, we’ve not seen students up in arms against the University authorities but today we’ve seen it happen. I sit in Germany here and shake my head in dismay seeing what is going on. We can’t allow anymore bad name for the University as it puts graduates from it in a stereotypical light in the eyes of the world. Let’s have a University that we can boast with wherever we find ourselves around the world.
I’m calling on all those who matter to step in and restore normalcy to the University. This is why I lend full support to my good friend, Equity, for raising a petition for an inquisition into allegations of alleged financial malfeasances at the Auditor General’s Office against the VC. Additionally, I encourage the students to embark on many more protests, marches, demonstrations, albeit peacefully to ensure the wrongs are righted since they stand to lose more than any stakeholder if the reputation of the University is mangled.
Now to you, Reverend Professor, did you only give the dog a bad name in order to crucify it? The Akans say- ‘abaa ye de bo Takyi no, ye de be bo Baah’ – to wit – the stick that was used to hit Takyi, the same stick would be used to hit Baah (Takyi and Baah depict two individuals). Just as you clandestinely fanned the fire that burnt Avoke, we’ll fan yours because you’ve proven in your short stay in office, to be more treacherous than Prof Avoke. It’s better to jump off the boat or you stay and be pushed out disgracefully.
Arise and purge UEW!
Aluta continua, victoria ascertain.
By Alhajj Suleman (alumnus), Germany
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