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Opinions of Monday, 7 October 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Is NUGS President A NUGS Outsider?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Within hours of the publication of a press statement issued by the National Union of Ghana(ian) Students (NUGS), announcing the conferral of the award of "Statesman of the Decade" on the Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Elections 2008 and 2012, a faction within the NUGS, purported to be represented by a Ms. Precious Asiedu-Gyan, took to the airwaves in vehemet protestation of the legitimacy of Nana Akufo-Addo'd nomination for such award (See "NUGS Executives Kick Against Akufo-Addo Award" / 10/3/13).

Ms. Asiedu-Gyan, reportedly, claimed that the gesture was not decided with the approval of the majority of the executive members of NUGS. My interest here regards the caption of the news report, which sought to portray the entire gesture as one that was illegally conceived and disseminated. I have a problem with this stance because it clearly appears that it was the President of NUGS, the highest-ranking executive officer of the organization, who released the press statement announcing the conferral of the award.

Ms. Asiedu-Gyan, who is described as the Treasurer of NUGS, claims that the President of Ghana's oldest higher educational student organization, whose name was not given by the aforementioned news report, by the way, had a prejudicial political motive and agenda for presuming to confer such award on Nana Akufo-Addo. She is also categorically accusing the Secretary of NUGS, who is also unnamed in the protest news report, of being "a strong NPP member."

And so, logically, what concerned readers need to know regards the fact of whther Ms. Asiedu-Gyan is as apolitical as she apparently wants her audience to believe. In other words, couldn't the NUGS Treasurer also be accused of doing the dirty work of some highly placed operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)? And if she happens to, indeed, be a staunch member, or even a sympathizer of the NDC, what gives her accusation any more credibility than the perceived motive behind the decision of the NUGS President and his/her Secretary to confer "The Statesman of the Decade" award on Nana Akufo-Addo?

So far, we only have the word of Ms. Asiedu-Gyan against that of the higher-ranked NUGS President and his/her Secretary. I am also not quite certain of whether the NUGS Treasurer has any constitutional right to so brashly and impetuously presume to speak for the entire executive membership of the country's flagship student organization. What also piques my curiosity is whether such award has precedent in the history of NUGS; and also whether such award has any measurable value beyond the double-edged propaganda spotlight that it seeks to garner for both the recipient and the presenter of the same.

I am also gobsmacked by the brazen pretence of Ms. Asiedu-Gyan that, somehow, NUGS is a purely academic-oriented organization singularly and parochially focused on Ivory-Tower culture, as it were. Maybe Ms. Asiedu-Gyan ought to be assigned a credit-bearing Independent-Study project into the history of NUGS.

Then again, are we also being given to understand that if the President of NUGS holds a plenary consultation with the entire executive membership of the organization, rather than the purportedly fractional section of the same, that the outcome of such consultation would be any more positive than it presently appears? Come on, Ms. Asiedu-Gyan, concerned citizens and observers want to know.


*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

Oct. 3, 2013