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Opinions of Sunday, 21 July 2019

Columnist: Dawda Eric

The unfortunate 'last minute' postponement of 2019 UEW congregation

When an imposter of a priest becomes a Vice Chancellor by default, the end result becomes a shambolic mess. These are the very things a reputable institution like UEW is going through as we speak.

The unpopular decision to postpone the upcoming congregation which was scheduled to take place on 22nd July,2019 at a time students had already moved from far distance to Winneba for the planned activity was unilaterally taking by the Vice Chancellor through the Registrar for the purpose of mischief in an attempt to cause public anger against this government.

On 19th July 2019, Around 8:30pm, UEW Registrar announced the postponement of the upcoming congregation to the general public without any justifiable reason. As I type, the said communique has left a lot of students stranded on the streets of Winneba in the sense that, they had already moved for lodgement in hotels awaiting the official ceremony on Monday, 22nd July 2019.

Professor Anthony Afful Broni had earlier been told on 16th July 2019 to call off the congregation through the minister of Education in charge of Tertiary because the Governing Council's mandate was going to expire on 17th July 2019.

It was to allow the government to go through the constitutional processes in getting a new Governing Council properly constituted in accordance with UEW Act,2004(Act 672) to oversee the issuance of certificates to graduands.

Professor Anthony Afful Broni and his Registrar waited till 19th July 2019 before calling off the congregation just to frustrate the ordinary student. Appointing individuals to serve on Governing Councils is something that cannot happen overnight. By law, the president has to consult the council of state for such appointment.

For the purposes of clarity, let me provide the basis for this legal education for readers to appreciate it better. Article 91(1)(2) of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana reads and I quote below

(1)"The Council of State shall consider and advise the President or any other authority in respect of any appointment which is required by this Constitution or any other law to be made in accordance with the advice of, or in consultation with, the Council of State."

(2) "The advice referred to in clause (1) of this article shall be given not later than thirty days after the receipt of the request from the President or other authority."

The emphasis in clause 1 is on " consider and advise the President or any other authority in respect of any appointment which is required by this Constitution". In law, the appointment of individuals to serve on statutory boards or councils are done in consultation with council of state.

In view of the above, it is clear that, this particular" last minute" postponement was done in bad faith to pitch stranded students against government when in actual sense, this whole mess is a result of the inefficiency of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar.

Professor Anthony Afful Broni is a failure and should be made to incur the wrath of the ordinary student who has been left stranded on the street of UEW in respect of this "last minute" disgraceful postponement.