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Opinions of Thursday, 1 November 2018

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Haruna Iddrisu has no credibility on KNUST Impasse

As a graduate student at the University of Ghana, he unconscionably plagiarized his way through a Master of Sociology thesis. He would later be caught and promptly have his Master of Sociology Degree revoked by the Academic Council of the country’s foremost academy.

So, really, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary Minority Leader, has absolutely no credibility, whatsoever, when it comes to professionally and honestly dealing with the high culture of our public tertiary academies (See “Minority Wants NAPO, Prof. Yankah Sacked” CitiNewsRoom.com / Modernghana.com 10/29/18).

To be certain, at the time that his Master of Sociology Degree was revoked by Legon, as the University of Ghana is popularly known, then-President John Evans Atta-Mills, himself a former Faculty of Law Professor at the same university, actually thumbed his nose at Legon’s Academic Council by adamantly retaining this incurably dishonest and disgraced Legon alumnus from his cabinet. Mr. Iddrisu would be later further promoted to substantive Labor Minister by his fellow “Brother Northerner” and successor to the then recently deceased President Atta-Mills, to wit, President John Dramani Mahama.

The fact of the matter is that the leaders of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have absolutely no track-record of harboring any remarkable modicum of respect for the students and faculty and staff of our public universities and other tertiary academies in the country. Indeed, if the Tamale-South’s NDC-Member of Parliament had bothered to carefully review the track-record of both the Rawlings-led erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the past 40 years, in particular how the shabby record of these political juggernauts has criminally impacted the general quality of academic standards at our public tertiary academies, Mr. Iddrisu, who once misguidedly called for the renaming of the northern-based University of Development Studies (UDS) after Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, would have hesitated very slowly and thought very deeply before hypocritically presuming to call for the summary dismissals of Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, the substantive Minister of Education, and Prof. Kwesi Yankah, the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, from the Akufo-Addo Cabinet.

Has the Parliamentary Minority Leader ever pondered the question of why he was never fired by then-President Mahama for abjectly poorly conducting himself as a Labor Minister, one of two cabinet positions that he held under the tenure of the former Rawlings’ Communications Minister, at neither of which he creditably acquitted himself? As Labor Minister, Mr. Idrissu’s gross incompetence was manifested by the fact that the country’s civil servants embarked on more strikes or industrial actions than at anytime in Ghana’s postcolonial history. Mostly, these strikes had to do with the gross and criminal mismanagement of public pension funds. You see, the Tamale-South’s NDC-MP would be grossly mistaken, if Mr. Iddrisu thinks that Ghanaians have so soon forgotten the $72 Million stygian mess that he bequeathed them at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) at the close of the Mahama tenure.

It is also significant to observe that the student leaders of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) themselves have categorically and publicly stated that the primary reasons for embarking on the protest demonstrations that resulted in the violent destruction of both private and state-owned property was not the conversion of former all-male residential halls at KNUST into mixed-gender ones, but rather the generally poor treatment of students by Vice-Chancellor Kwasi Obiri-Danso and his staff of University Administrators. And so it is rather disingenuous for Mr. Iddrisu and his cynical cohorts of the NDC Parliamentary Minority to pretend as if Ghanaians were too daft or obtuse to fully appreciate the salient circumstances culminating in the brief and temporary shuttering of KNUST.

At any rate, who told Mr. Iddrisu and his thievish and double-salary drawing parliamentary scam-artists that any single or particular gender on the KNUST campus, or the campuses of any of the country’s other public tertiary academies, for that matter, has any inalienable constitutional right to dictate residential terms to college or university administrators? We shall shortly and discursively take up other equally critical aspects of the KNUST rumpus and impasse in this very column.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net