Some residents of three neighbouring communities of the University of Cape Coast (UCC,) embarked on a demonstration to protest the University’s commitment to protect its lands.
The group also called on the government to initiate measures to ensure their resettlement, due to the increase in population.
Wearing red shirts and armbands, the demonstrators called for the resignation of the Vice Chancellor of UCC as well as a halt to the university’s policy to demarcate its boundaries.
The demonstrators were from Amamoma, Kwaprow and Akotokyir.
They later presented a petition which was received by Major Kofi Baah-Bentum (rtd), Director of Public Affairs of UCC and Bless Dakey, on behalf of UCC and Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) respectively.
The Chief of Kwaprow, Nana Kwesi Mensah III, who presented the petition, explained that the communities had on several occasions proposed a meeting with authorities of the University but claimed that demand did not materialise.
He alleged that management of the University had refused to show respect to the leaders of the communities, and also neglected its corporate social responsibility.
He further alleged that, the University had destroyed their ancestors’ tombs and playing field at Kakumdo and Akotokyir.
Nana Kwesi Mensah III also accused the University of restricting movement of community members from one community to another.
Management of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), however, disagreed with leadership of some communities on the accusation.
At a news conference held immediately after the petition had been received, the Director of Public Affairs, UCC, Major Kofi Baah-Bentum (rtd) explained that the organisers side stepped existing protocol in handling their grievances.
He explained that the University had instituted a management community consultative committee which had been working appropriately in handling such matters, adding that the issues raised by the demonstrators did not go through the consultative committee.
Major Baah-Bentum (rtd), further indicated that, the UCC land was not acquired by any member of management but by the government.
The Director of Public affairs said UCC had no business fighting but it was for government and said all that the University was doing was to protect the land.
He explained that management of the University having regard for elders of the land necessitated the consultative committee by extending invitation to leaders of the surrounding communities.
On his part, a Senior Lawyer at the Legal Affairs Office of UCC, Eugene Appiah Larbi, indicated that the University was only protecting its lands from encroachers.
He explained that, some lands belonging to the University had been taken over by developers and residents of the neighbouring communities.
“We are only protecting our lands from encroachers'” he said.
FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, CAPE COAST