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UEW disturbances: Cost of damages estimated at GH¢250,000

The Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has estimated the total cost of damages to properties at the university as a result of the recent student rioting on campus, to GH¢250,000.

The  estimate was  done by a team put together to assess the cost of damages to properties of the university and some staff.

Chairman of the Council, Professor Emmanuel N. Abakah, in a statement read on his behalf by a member of the council, John Darko, disclosed these at  a news conference, at Winneba.

The  students smashed  windscreen of  vehicles,  including that of  the  police, and  the glass windows  and  ATMs, during  disturbances on the Winneba  campus of UEW.

They protested the dismissal of three lecturers by management of the university, and appealed to management to reverse what in their estimation was unfair.

As a result of the three-day protest, the Central Regional Security Council (REGSEC) announced the shutdown of the Ajumako and Winneba campuses of the University indefinitely.

On whether students would  be surcharged  to pay  for  the  cost  of    facilities that were destroyed, Prof Abakah  said that would be determined my management of the university.

He indicated that management of the UEW would soon announce the re-opening of academic work.

“We need to understand critical facilities such as vehicles, ATMs, glass windows destroyed by students may have to be fully repaired or replaced before students can be asked to report to the two Campuses,” Prof Abakah said.

He stressed “there is also the need to do a clean-up and undertake repair or restoration of major facilities on our campuses before we can ask the students to come back.”

The Governing Council, Prof Abakah said, was mindful of the consequence of a prolonged stay of students at home, and was doing everything in its power to ensure that, in consultation with REGSEC and with its approval, the Winneba and Ajumako campuses are opened within the shortest practicable time.

He stated that the Governing Council would consider any petition that it may receive from affected staff, based on appeals by well-meaning Ghanaians and other respected personalities, saying, “However, the Council wishes to add that such review will be on case by case basis”. 

Prof Abakah explained that the Council  was in the process of constituting an investigative committee to unravel the circumstances and rationale behind the unrest, saying that the terms of reference for any such committee would include suggesting ways to prevent such unfortunate occurrences in the future. 

“The Governing Council and Management  have very much been guided by Articles 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution that touch on fairness and good discretion in the running of Public institutions and same have influenced all our Administrative decisions”, he said. 

Prof Abakah commended the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, for the reconciliation initiative geared toward ensuring peace on UEW campus, the Minister of State in-charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, for his intervention and interacting with the Council members regarging the crisis.

We are further grateful to the Central Regional Minster, Mr Kwamena Duncan, supported by the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Paul Awini and the Regional Security Council and National Security for their intervention that helped to contain the violence from escalating.

FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, WINNEBA  

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