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General News of Wednesday, 11 April 2018


Showdown at Wa Poly – Rector calls bluff of lecturers

There was an anticipated showdown yesterday at the campus of the Wa Polytechnic as the school’s embattled rector vowed to return to the campus in defiance of workers’ protests and an interdiction order.

On Monday, April 9, 2018, aggrieved staff of the polytechnic chased out Professor Emmanuel Marfo Owusu after mounting roadblocks to impound his car and prevent him from accessing his office.

The angry lecturers chased Prof Marfo-Owusu out of campus with clubs and stones on Monday.

The Wa Polytechnic chapter of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) had levelled a series of allegations of financial malfeasance and breaches of procurement processes against Prof Marfo-Owusu.

Prof Marfo-Owusu has also been accused by the lecturers of breaching procurement regulations in the purchase of a Mercedez Benz vehicle worth about GH¢500,000.

However, Prof Marfo Owusu had filed a fresh suit to halt his interdiction and a probe into allegations of embezzling over GH¢500,000.

Speaking on Starr FM yesterday in Accra, he said his lawyers were returning to the court to sue the polytechnic authorities for contempt.

“I will be there, they can touch me if they want. I want to sue the one who will be brave enough to touch me.

“I am going there tomorrow morning (referring to yesterday) with the police because I am expected to be there to take care of the school in respect to signing the cheques for the school. I am not there for the lecturers.

“If I leave them to do their own thing, the whole coffers will be empty,” the rector stated in an interview.

The rector who seemed unhappy with the development also in the interview with Starr FM , which was monitored by Today, accused the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, of being behind the tension going on in the school.

According to him, Dr Opoku Prempeh took arbitrary decisions without considering laid-down procedures.

The rector noted that although President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was implementing good policies such as the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme, the conduct of some of his ministers, including the education minister, was hurting the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He, therefore, urged Dr Opoku Prempeh to reconsider his ways of taking decisions as far as polytechnic education was concerned.

Meanwhile, police officers have been deployed to Wa Polytechnic to restore calm.

The Polytechnic Council also convened an emergency meeting over the impasse on Monday evening to find a solution to the problem.

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