On October 22, 2018, the country witnessed one of the most devastating student protests on record.
Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), led by the Students’ Representative Council, embarked on a peaceful demonstration which turned sour when police reportedly intervened.
The protest, which was initially meant to be used by students to register their discontent on brutalities and restrictions on campus, saw the destruction of about 40 cars and 10 motorbikes as well as an outrageous number of school properties.
Nonetheless, the protest attracted national attention and made headlines leading to several back and forth with regards to decisions on the way forward.
A seven-member committee was put together and inaugurated by government to overhaul the existing governing council. The committee was tasked to ensure normalcy returns to the school while negotiating with students, to find lasting solutions to the brouhaha.
In recent news, the National Council for Tertiary Education has asked the Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, to step aside and allow the newly-constituted Interim Council to take over the affairs of the school.
The directive which was conveyed to Professor Obiri Danso and made public on October 29, 2018 also demands, he hands over to the Pro Vice Chancellor of the KNUST.
In light of this, Ghanaweb TV hit the streets of Accra to seek the opinion of a section of Ghanaians on what they make of the sequence of events at KNUST, as well as seek answers to whether in the thoughts of the ordinary Ghanaian, the issue has been badly handled or infiltrated with a bit of politics.
Persons who spoke to Ghanaweb TV, shared divided views regarding the “sacking” of the Vice Chancellor.
While others believe, the decision is a step in the right direction and very far from being politicized, others are of the view, there is a high probability that there was a political play involved in his removal from post.
“I think the VC erred, he could have managed the situation right from the onset…definitely there’s a play (politics) to it. They might not tell you but certainly there’s a play to it,” a former SRC president (name of school withheld) told Ghanaweb TV.
A student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism said, “The VC being asked to step aside, I support it…to me, it is not politicized at all, it has rather affected the whole nation, they (authorities) should focus on the students and what they want or what they do not want.”
Meanwhile, despite the degree of destructions made, some Ghanaians still stand with the students and believe they only acted out of frustration as their grievances were ignored over a long period.
“What the students did, people wouldn’t understand. It had been a long standing grievance of the students and if authorities had given ear to the students, the problem would have been solved,” a businessman posited.