Removal of former VC of UEW is not tribalism – Afenyo Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Mr Alex Afenyo–Markin, the Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency has dismissed allegations that the removal of Professor Mawutor Avoke as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Education (UEW), Winneba, was based on his ethnic inclination.

Professor Avoke and four principal officers of the UEW, including the Finance Officer, Dr Theophilus Senyo Akorlie, were allegedly sacked for their culpability in the loss of some vital documents in some offices which are at the centre of an investigation into rot at the institution.

Counsel for the dismissed VC, Professor Raymond Atuguba, in a statement issued ahead of the swearing in of a new VC for the UEW on Monday alleged that the dismissal of his client smacked of tribalism.

“When a change of government occurred in January 2017, a certain cabal (for lack of a better word) that is associated with Winneba, saw this as an opportunity to change principal officers of the University of Education, Winneba. After acting as Lawyer for the victims of this move, I can only conclude that the only real reason for their removal was ethnocentric. So Vice Chancellor Avoke, Finance Officer Akorlie, and bearers of similar such names had to go”, the law Professor said in the statement.

But addressing the chiefs and people of Winneba on Monday, hours after the new VC was sworn in by the University Council in the presence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Afenyo-Markin said Prof. Atuguba’s claims were unfounded.

He said there has never been any scheme to remove Prof  Avoke and his men, in favour of a son of the Central Region, based on their ethnicity but that due process was followed in axing the then leadership because he fell foul of administrative laws governing the University.

The second-term lawmaker said the youth of Winneba who were to be the first to benefit from the menial jobs at that the University have not been considered anytime the opportunity came.

Without being specific in a counter allegation, Afenyo-Markin said, previous administrations of the UEW sidelined the youth of Winneba in job placements and that only relatives of those in the helm of affairs were engaged.

He said under the new leadership of Rev Father Professor Anthony Afful-Broni, there was going to be a local content policy to engage the youth of Winneba as the school embarks on massive infrastructural drive.

According to him, Ghana is a secular country and that nobody would be prevented from working in any institution based on his or ethnic, religious or political affiliation be it at Winneba or any part of the country but that local citizens needed to benefit from what belonged to them too.

Using himself as an example, Afenyo-Markin whose father hails from the Volta Region and mother from Winneba in the Central Region said that was testimony of the secuolar nature of Ghana and how receptive the people of Winneba were.

He used the opportunity to urge the youth of Winneba and its surrounding communities who would have the privilege to be engaged in any form of work at the UEW to give their outmost best to justify their inclusion.

FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, WINNEBA

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