Trouble Brews In NUGS Over Akufo-Addo’s Award

nana akufoThe announcement of the planned conferment of the “Statesman of the Decade” award by the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, seems to have generated controversy within the executive of NUGS, as a section claims to have no knowledge of the award plan.

A statement jointly issued by a number of heads of representative bodies making up NUGS, said majority of the executives were not consulted about such an award and the criteria for the selection, and subsequently distanced themselves from the event.

It was jointly issued by Asiwome Kodjo Tsamenyi, National President, Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG); Steve Kubate Salifu, President, Ghana Union of Professional Students (GUPS); Comrade S. A. Karim, General Secretary,University Students Association of Ghana (USAG); Yakubu T. Yusuf, President, National Association of Health Students of Ghana (NAHSAG); and Seidu Ahmed, National Coordinating Secretary, Teacher Trainee Association of Ghana (TTAG).

The statement below, said the National Union of Ghana Students’ component blocs made up of GRASAG, TTAG, USAG, GUPS and the regional SRCs have taken note of a press statement issued by the National President of NUGS and General Secretary where it stated among other things that NUGS awards Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s statesman of the decade.

“According to article 27, 28 and 29 of the constitution of NUGS, the presidents of the blocs and or their representatives are members of the National Executive Committee in addition to other national officers. For NEC to take a decision, a quorum, consisting of the National President and six other members of NEC must be established.

“In deciding to embark on this award, the structure of the union has not been followed.
“The position of the bloc heads have been ignored in several decisions in running the affairs of the union.

“Not all members of NEC have been consulted in planning this award scheduled to take place at the Erata Hotel, Accra on October 11.

“The bloc heads are not aware of the formation of the committee to plan this awards night and have not been consulted in the selection process of the awardees.

“The position of the president and the secretary, as issued in their press release of October 2, 2013, makes it sound that it is the leadership of NUGS that has decided to award Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo.

“In as much as all students in Ghana and Ghanaians acknowledge the crucial role of Nana Akufo-Addo in the democratic dispensation of Ghana and possibly deserves to be awarded, we want to let the nation know that we do not have anything against the accolades that have been used to describe Nana Akufo Addo. All we want is that the right structures must be followed.

In the election petition, there were other petitioners who are equally worthy of praise.
“The respondents played a vital role as well. All Ghanaians helped the process. We are all happy about the reforms this petitions will bring to the Electoral Commission and how elections are conducted in Ghana.
“We will not support any action that will polarise the front of Ghanaian students.

“The bloc heads of NUGS are not aware of the criteria used in selection of the awardees. There is the need for a broader consultation with all stakeholders in NUGS for such an award to be deemed as representing the views of Ghanaian students.

“The bloc heads have been in several dialogues and mediation roles between the steering committee and the national officers to ensure a successful emergency congress and election of officers.

“There is the need for funds to ensure that elections happen. We are not aware of the financial position of the union and sponsors such as RLG and Coca Cola must support student programmes but care must be taken to ensure there is transparency in student governance in Ghana.

“The union must attend to urgent issues to salvage the image and representation of the Ghanaian student. The emergency congress and the election of national officers is the urgent item that we must all consider.
“We will be glad to have the national officers organise this awards night with adequate consultation with the structure of NUGS and with adequate respect to the constitution of NUGS.

“We propose a good consultation in the selection of awardees, and an awards night that will culminate in a handing-over ceremony to save the resources of the union.

“Ghanaian students understand and we are all not happy with the current increase in utilities. But we do not endorse the purported demonstration of the PPP and there has not been a consensus to have Ghanaian students to embark on a demonstration or support PPP.

“We want to use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders of NUGS to join us in our attempt to reposition NUGS as a formidable student group that seeks to advance the course of students at all times,” it ended.

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