You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 10 01Article 689163

Opinions of Monday, 1 October 2018

Columnist: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem

Reversing the Katanga/Conti conversion could be worse than the freeing of Muntie trio

With malice towards none but joy and alacrity, and charity for all, let me remind alumni of the university Hall and their cohorts that Ghana is a multi-party democratic society, that guarantees fundamental human rights and one of these rights is the freedom of association and expression within parameters or framework of the constitution.

That is why Voltaire once said that "I may disapprove of what you say but would defend to my death, your right to say it."

So as "real intellectuals" of Katanga Hall, it behooves us to develop the required enzyme to digest the opinions of others, no matter how balderdash we may deem such opinions to be.

And for the record, also, I have not been given some fat "brown envelop" by the university to support them, neither am I being bitter for missing the opportunity to serve in the SRC.

As a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, we have been trained, as social engineers and harbingers of African transformation, to always walk through conflicting interest commonsensically before placing our thumbs on who is at fault.

I believe the fight against the university council's decision to convert the traditional males' Halls to mixed, is simply unjustifiable attack on the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, accentuated and motivated by either intellectual deficiency or naked emotions, envy, and hatred.

I initially used to agree with many political analysts who are of the school of thought that men of our President's generation - ancient leaders - must not be in charge of the affairs of the youthful population of the current generation, the youth must take their own destiny and future into their hands.

But I was wrong.

It doesn't matter who governs, provided he or she has the capability to employ and deploy the Three Fs Formula (find, fix, and finish) to lead.

Sometimes, issues do not necessarily require scholarly dissection or analysis to be able to get fixed.

What is required in many problem solving situations is to simply be unbiased, emotionally balanced, and truthful.

I woke up yesterday to find a traffic of "what's up" messages literally freezing my smart phone from strange contacts. The messages were mainly videos with accompanying defamatory, derogatory, and offensive name calling comments.

One of them read "Your ass is paining you after watching the video huh?"

In the said video was our dear President briefing some diehard alumni of the University Hall (Katanga), in which he assured them to forward the "matter" to the Education Minister so that, probably, the decision of the university could be reversed to allay their "unnecessary plight" and bellyache as proud alumni of Katanga but, maybe, proud fifth columnists of the university at large.

So many of my colleague students who know I am pathologically opposed to that fruitless, senseless, reckless, childish, and myopic cause, bombarded me on social media to announce to me, that despite my traitor nature to the Katanga Hall as a proud member, the president has finally listened to them.

As a student of Religious Studies and a little background of politics, I read that great men of history encountered ugly forces to building their nations. For instance, Julius Caesar had his Cassius, Casca, and Brutus: but he also had his Artemidorus and Mark Anthony, as opponents and proponents.

Joseph Stalin of the Soviet empire also had his Bukharin and Beria; but he also had his Molotov and Voroshilov.

Moses had his Pharaoh but at the same time, Aaron was in his company.

Your Excellency, even the Master Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) had his Pharisees, Sadducees including Judas Iscariot, but he had his Peter and John, too.

Former president Mahama had his Martin Amidu, Dr. Bawumia, and Ex-president JJ Rawlings; but God made available for him his Julius Debrah, Valerie Sawyer, and Omani Boamah.

Mr. President, even you, it's an inconvenient truth that some people, though Ghanaians, preferred to die than see you at the helm of affairs as president as then a presidential candidate.

You struggled outside power in a seemingly hopeless opposition for solid eight years with quality and catchy campaign manifesto, but because of some grand scheme that was masterminded and plotted secretly opened to quash your presidential bid by your political predators - who demonized, vilified, and whitewashed you as a "political terrorist", and unrepentant warmonger, unfit to lead and would collapse the country like a pack of cards if voted into power - you suffered in opposition for years before.

Mr. President, you had done nothing to deserve that wicked acrimony from these political detractors who fought you spiritually, emotionally, and physically, to terminate your ambition to serve Ghanaians.

This group of people are like MTN in everybody's life, including Professor Kwesi Obiri Danso, the Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, they have vowed to deconstruct the VC's legacy "all die be die."

Your Excellency, the agitation by some students against the Halls conversion has no legitimacy or merit and absolutely of no legal effect. It is just out of emotions, hatred, gross disregard of school authority, and sidestepping of internal conflict resolution mechanisms in the university.

And for the alumni, their protestation is nothing more than a betrayal of the history of the university, an insult to common sense, and convenient negligence of truth and justice.

In 1991, the university introduced females for the first time into Republic, and Independence Halls.

It could have been Katanga and Conti because it was not legally binding on the university management to leave it as males only Halls at that time.

Republic Hall was established in 1960 and named to commemorate Ghana's attainment of republic status.

The Independence Hall was also opened officially in February 1959 to commemorate Ghana's Independence of 1957. It was the first permanent hall of residence.

Your Excellency, I was not yet born in 1991 so I have no idea whether males in those Halls exhibited their mojo and macho, including exploring "legal gymnastics" to reverse the university council's decision at the time, however, be it as it may, ordinarily, if there's any Hall that must fight for status of tradition of single sex (male) only Hall, it must be the above two previously mixed Halls.

Katanga Hall was established to commemorate KNUST's attainment of university status in 1961.

Members of the Hall claim to be the "Heart of the University."

Mr. President, KNUST is a mixed school, ask them, why don't they want the Hall to reflect the university as its heart?

Your Excellency, you're an astute lawyer who became president as well.
The power is indeed yours, whether you are going to use article 32, or 72 of our constitution to reverse the decision of the university council or better still, engage the coercive apparatus of the state, one thing is certain: "man shall not live by power alone."

President Mahama's debacle involving the MUNTIE Trio, when he rather displayed naked power even against the wisdom of his lawyer, and went ahead to use article 72 of his Prerogative of Mercy to release the Judges verbal assaulters, certainly contributed to his humiliating defeat.

Mr. President, small stones make mountains. You may not know where this can escalate to.

It's my fervent expectation that you ask the alumni to convince you why they want the Hall restored to its normal traditional males only Hall for they have no responsible reasons, they are chastising the university for NOTHING.

Long Live Mr. President,

Long Live Ghana,

And Long Live KNUST.