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Demo Rocks K’dua Technical University

The main entrance of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) in the Eastern Region was yesterday morning blocked by scores of students and lecturers who are on the heels of the university’s council chairman, Prof. Samuel Obeng Apori.

The demonstrators, clad in red and holding placards, were agitating for the resignation of the chairman or be forced out of office over his alleged ‘autocratic’ leadership style.

They blocked Mr Obeng Apori from entering the campus to attend a council meeting; and it took the intervention of the regional police to break the protest but peaceful march, which lasted for about an hour.

They accused Prof. Apori of meddling in the governance of the school, delaying promotions of staff as well as awarding contracts and making sole appointments without recourse to the council.

The protesters claimed that he was mismanaging the university, taking arbitrary decisions and creating what they called ‘unnecessary interference’ in the activities of the university and even  those of the SRC.

Dr. Anthony Ayakwa, the local chairman of the Technical University Teachers’ Association (TUTAG) who was part of the demonstration, accused the council chairman of giving unilateral orders and reversing decisions of the previous council.

He said Mr Obeng Apori cancelled academic trips to China, Dubai and Canada, despite the fact that some were fully sponsored by their foreign counterparts.

He also accused him of cancelling all payment of contractors and suppliers, unilaterally extending indefinitely the term of office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor, who had exhausted his tenure, thereby creating ‘tension’ and forcing some staff to resign.

Dr.  Ayakwa said the association had sent several petitions to the ministry of education and the council but had not yielded results hence, the demonstration.

The Vice Chairman of TUTAG, Jamal Mohammed, also said the embattled council chairman is offering an autocratic leadership which does not promote the peaceful running of the institution.

He said the council and the entire education authorities should take their concerns serious in order to prevent future demonstrations.

The spate of agitations against managements of tertiary institutions is increasing in the country.

Just last Monday, some angry lecturers and staff of the Wa Polytechnic in the Upper West Region chased out their Rector, Prof Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, from campus.

Three unions – Polytechnic Teachers’ Association of Ghana (POTAG), the Polytechnic Administration Association of Ghana (PAAG) and the Polytechnic Workers’ Association of Ghana (POWAG) – accused him of being a dictator and called for his immediate removal.

They also said the rector was living a lavish lifestyle while the staff suffer, after he had purchased a vehicle for himself at the cost of over GH¢500,000 without the approval of the Governing Council.