General News of Monday, 5 May 2014
Students of the Mampong Midwifery and Health Assistants Training School in the Ashanti Region, say they are living in fear following an assault on them by their tutors for reminding President Mahama of their allowance as he passed through the town during his tour of the Ashanti Region.
The tutors were angry because, in their opinion, the students by their legitimate action had “embarrassed” them before the President by screaming “pay us our allowance”.
Some students, whose hostels are located along the road, held pieces of papers asking the President to pay them their allowance which is long overdue. According to some of the female students who spoke to Ultimate Radio on condition of anonymity, although the President appeared to have acknowledged their demand in good fate by symbolizing to them to calm down, a group of angry male and female tutors stormed one of the female hostels hurling insults at them and threatening them.
They told Ultimate Radio they were made to kneel down for about forty-five minutes and later asked to call their parents to a meeting on the matter; with a caution that any student who failed to summon both parents would be dismissed.
One student was also allegedly slapped by a tutor. According to the students, the teachers may have taken that action on the orders of the Principal, because some officials believed to be from the national security who were part of the President’s entourage may have reported them to the Principal, Lydia Yamoah.
Their claim is based on the fact that, the alleged national security officials came out of the convoy to collect copies of their bond forms which is the agreement they have with Government, based on which they are paid allowances. Some of the bond forms were part of the papers they displayed as part of their appeals to the President.
Many of the students who say they are traumatized told Ultimate Radio that although only a few of their colleagues who reside in a particular hostel by the roadside were involved in the mild protest, those in other hostels far away from the incident were also manhandled.
Although some of the students appeared unconcerned about the drama, some female students have since been weeping because they fear they may be expelled from the school over such a trivial matter, in clear violation of their human rights.
When contacted by Ultimate Radio, the Principal of the school, Lydia Yamoah, refused to comment with the excuse that she was not in Mampong.
However, Ultimate Radio’s checks reveal that she was available, but has decided not to comment on the incident and has also cautioned students and staff of the school not to grant any media interview on the issue.
Meanwhile, Head of Communications at the Presidency, Ben Dotse Malor, who is unaware of the incident that prevailed at the students’ hostel, dismissed the suggestions that the students disrespected the President. He told Ultimate Radio the visit to Mampong was largely successful.
“We had a great time with Mamponghene who thanked the President for the water rehabilitation facility and on our way back, the students wanted audience with the President so the President came out of his car and spoke to them and they cheered and were happy; and then we left,” he noted.
President Mahama inaugurated the $21.6 million Mampong Water Supply Rehabilitation and Expansion Project. Funded with a concessionary loan from the Exim Bank with a grant element of 35 per cent, the project would serve about 58,000 people in Mampong and surrounding communities. It would increase water supply from 2.5 million gallons a day to 10.5 million gallons a day while the distribution network would expand by about 42 kilometers.