The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) is not a mouthpiece of government contrary to observations made by former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings to that effect, NUGS has denied in a statement.
Mrs. Rawlings recently said student bodies in the country’s tertiary institutions have now become mouthpieces of government.
Speaking at the 14th Prestigious Lecture series at the Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings said the umbrella body for student groups – NUGS,, has now become emasculated due to its hijack by politicians.
In a statement signed and issued in Accra by its President, Mr. Paa-Quecy Adu said “we at NUGS do not recall the day or on which issue the union became a mouthpiece of government. Instead, with specific reference to this academic year’s leadership, we have unreservedly stood firm and maintained our stance on the non-payment of utility bills by students”.
“We have made a case on the need for government to timely release the stipends meant for Ghanaian students studying abroad. Again, we have recently exerted the necessary pressure on government to release Teacher Trainees’ Feeding Grant.
“We are very optimistic that the union is surging on despite the challenges it faces as students and, therefore, intellectuals, it is our resolve to ensure the unconditional emancipation of the students and youth of Ghana through the philosophy of dialogue,” it said.
The statement said the union’s attention was drawn to a statement made by a former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings alluding that student unions with specific references to NUGS, has become the mouthpiece for the sitting government.
It said the serene political and maturing democracy the nation is enjoying today could not have come this far without the previous and the current deep contributions made by the union.
The statement said the union over the years since its formation, has contributed largely in shaping the conversation on national development and that the current leadership of NUGS is still doing same.
“It is important to place on record that the challenges of the students of Ghana and, therefore, our nation some years ago, vary from the current challenges, hence the need to relatively engage government and all other stakeholders in a more contemporary approach in pressing home our demands and shaping the developmental agenda of Ghana,” it said.