Stop politicising state institutions – Pro Vice Chancellor

Prof. Oduro

Prof. Oduro

The Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. George K. T. Oduro, has expressed worry about the rate political polarisation was taking hold on state institutions and other segments of the society.

He said some individuals heading state organisations, including educational institutions, rush to obtain political party cards to identify themselves with the parties.

 

With such development, he said, political party fanatics tend to remotely control institutions in their professional decisions.

 

Prof. Oduro was speaking at his inaugural lecture held at the university campus, in Cape Coast, on Thursday.

 

The lecture was on the theme: “Repositioning universities for national character development: does leadership and mindset education matter?”

 

There was a tree planting exercise to mark the inaugural lecture.

 

“Institutional leaders appointed on political lines tend to work in the interest of their political parties rather than the institution or the nation,” he said, and urged universities in the country to help reverse the current trend in order to champion the total transformation of the nation.

 

According to Prof. Oduro, politically influenced appointees tell government only things they know the government wanted to hear regarding policy initiatives, saying “citizens with critical minds and innovative ideas on national policies are gradually retreating for fear of being lampooned and lambasted.”

 

He said the nation was gradually creating a situation where “the only person who determines what is appropriate in policy matters is the politician with leadership power.”

 

Prof. Oduro noted that, people tend to hide behind politics to misbehave at the workplace thereby affecting productivity, adding that some virtues such as respect for the elderly was fast diminishing.

 

To demonstrate how polarised the nation had become, he said: “Political affiliation is gradually becoming a criterion for parental endorsement of marriage suitors,” and suggested that de-polarising the nation should start from the leaders through the development of the mind to carry out transformational change.

 

Citing an example, he explained that, South Korea was able to develop by the power of the mind and said, “70 per cent of their land consist of mountains and they are not endowed with natural resources compared to Ghana,” noting that the success of a nation depended on the mindset of the people, and urged the universities to champion such change.

 

He said “If the university sews divisive mindsets, it will produce leaders with divisive tendencies,” stressing that the nation’s universities should not only develop the intellect of the youth; “they should integrate national character issues in their programmes”

 

He said “universities must use the lecture theatres to help students develop a mindset that will place Ghana first and make them appreciate that our tribal, religious and political orientations should not divide us as citizens”.

 

The Pro-Vice Chancellor said for universities to reposition themselves for national character development, politicians must allow university decision making structures and procedures to operate, adding that people with extreme partisan and divisive orientation should not be appointed chairmen of University Governing Councils or Vice-Chancellors of universities.

 

Additionally, he admonished lecturers to refrain from using the lecture theatres to promote partisan ideologies, saying, “Lecture theatres should promote critical mindedness and accommodate dissenting opinions”

 

Prof. Oduro advocated the introduction of leadership for national character as a liberal course in universities and urged Ghanaians not to allow politics to divide them, saying, “Politicians will come and go but our country Ghana will continue to exist”.

FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST

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