General News of Saturday, 11 June 2011
Police in Tamale have picked seven students of the Tamale Nurses and Midwives Training College, following a peaceful demonstration they organized in Tamale against the Principal Madam Tashawu Mohammed.
They were picked on their way to the Tamale Chief’s palace after presenting their petition to authorities of the Northern Regional Health Directorate.
The Student’s Representative Council President, Kofi Atinka confirmed the arrest to Citi News and mentioned names like Kamil Dominick, Georgina Ochere and Anania as some of his colleagues who are in police custody.
He chastised the police over what he referred to as unprofessional conduct on innocent students who were exercising their democratic rights on the streets in protest against the school Principal’s bad leadership style.
Kofi Atinga said majority of the protesters sustained injuries while others went home naked.
Meanwhile, opinion leaders in Tamale including the chief of Tamale, Naa Dakpema Dawuni Alhassan and Chief Sofo Azoka, NDC Regional Chairman are working round the clock to ensure that the students are released.
A source close to the Northern Regional Police Command said the students went on the demonstration without police notification, hence the decision to arrest their leaders.
The students, numbering 705 on Friday June 10, boycotted lectures and went on a peaceful demonstration in objection to what they described as the Principal’s “gross incompetence and mismanagement.”
They have hence called for the immediate dismissal of Madam Tashawu Mohammed as the Principal or else they will never return to the lecture halls.
The protestors held placards with inscriptions such as “We don’t like her and she must go now” “Our principal is heartless” “Our food is poisoned” She is an autocratic leader” and “She said she can lie and make authorities believe her”.
They marched to the regional health directorate and the regional coordinating council where they handed over copies of their petition to the authorities to act swiftly on their grievances.
On the petition, they accused Madam Tashawu of sowing seeds of hatred among the students on tribal lines which they observed was a recipe for disaster in view of the volatile nature of the Northern Region.
“To quote her without any fear: our wicked principal opened her mouth and said over her dead body will a Dagomba student hold any position so far as she remained the principal.”
They also alleged that she increased their tuition fees by 100% that affected some brilliant but needy students of the college whose parents could not afford to pay.
They mentioned Mr. Mike Mahamud, Mr. Thomas Ziemah, Madam Hilda Kumodji and Hajia Ramatu as some of the experienced lecturers who left the college because of the principal’s alleged autocratic leadership style.
“Since her assumption of office as the principal of this institution: most of the experienced lecturers have left in the sense that they could no longer cope up with her autocratic style of leadership.”