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Opinions of Monday, 17 October 2016

Columnist: Acheampong, Ebenezer Owusu

University of Ghana is in a precarious state

By Acheampong, Ebenezer Owusu

" The consequences of employing SHS CADET boys instead of SECURITY men"

I don't know where to start from but I just want to use this release to inform all University of Ghana students that "We are not safe". By this release too, I want to humbly send information to the Vice Chancellor and the University management that, the school is gradually turning into a jungle, with too much abuse of the law.

If students are conforming to the survival of the fittest principle these days, then management should watch out, what is bad for the goose will obviously be worst for the gander.

Students security has never been a priority on Legon campus I guess. If it has, then we are not feeling it at all and wait! are the men wearing green dresses security personnel or SHS cadet boys? Because from the past, we have experienced a lot of innocent students being hypnotized by unknown individuals and as at now, we have not grabbed any of such robbers.

Night attacks on students on the Pentagon- Tf road became so rampant. The number of students who got injured from these attacks, lost their laptops, money, phones and other valuable items to these robbers are uncountable. Day robberies during examination periods has been consistent and now it is kind of normal.

Funny enough we claim having security services on campus and some men wearing green dresses calling themselves securities. Not only that, students are billed every academic year for security services. So why is it that University of Ghana gradually is becoming part of the unsafe places to live in Ghana

Let me engage the recent happenings on campus.

Last week 8th October 2016, we saw some students who identified themselves as VANDALS, coming from wherever to the Mensah Sarbah main hall to attacked students. It will shocked you that we witnessed about 2 hours of stone throwing and property destructions in the naked eyes of 8 men in green dresses who called themselves security men.

This sad event was crowned with one of the VANDALS who solely moved to a car, relaxed and poured petrol on it and set the car ablaze, all these under the watch of our green dressed men whose duty is to protect students and maintain order.

Last Saturday 15th October, some students at Akuafo Hall Annex B popularly know as Gonja capitalised on the insecurity on campus. The usual rituals the block does is that, they hoot at ladies who pass by their block, especially ladies who are improperly dress.

However, the story was different last Saturday as students went extreme to the extent of throwing water, waste products, and items on innocent individuals. This sad event also lasted for several hours and no security men were around to ensure order. The case became very scary when one guy who was affected by the actions of these Gonja guys happened to be a VANDAL and He went straight to informed his other colleagues and they came with stones to revenge.

They stoned Akuafo Annex B block and curfewed students for about an hour amidst destroying of University properties. All this without security men coming to the rescue. The worst was that, I personally picked a phone and called the main security gate to come to the rescue but to my surprise, they were afraid to come, they said they don't have weapons to handle the situation.

My questions are:

1. Why do these security men stood helpless when there is a need for their services? 2. Are the situation they encounter on campus above them? 3. What then is the way forward if the situations they encounter are above our security men?

On personal interactions and confrontations, these security men told me that, they don't have weapons to rescue situations and they can't risked their life. It is very shocking to me because how can the University employ the service of securities and refused to provide them the things needed to ensure law and order and expect them to function properly yet students paid an amount every academic year for security purposes. What are the University management using those fees for?

Again from a personal observations, majority of these security men are too old for the job and I am wondering why they are still into that service. In different view, do these security men need weapons to maintain order when students are in dispute.

I believe they don't need guns extensive weapons to put students control students and if even the situations were above them, what prevent them from calling for reinforcement from the national security such as the police. It is so evidential that these security men lacks the needed skills and training to ensure that students and staffs of the University are safe.

I can state it empathetically that, just 5 armed men can curfew all residents of Legon campus including the Vice chancellor if we still trust in the men in green dress and continue to put our security in these people hands.

So now University of Ghana campus is not safe. Students, staff and security men of the premier University, are insecure. We have the Legon Police station closer to us but situation is still getting worst gradually. To my dear students, we should be aware that, the monies we paid for security are in vain and we are now serving as our own security men and women.

We can start visiting the gym or moved with weapons because our security is at stake. I don't want to predict doom but if there are no serious interventions from the government and the stakeholders of University of Ghana to this, next week will be a different story and with that more bloody than reported so far. It is time we start the campaign #OURSECURITYMATTER.

My next article will be on the cowards who called themselves VANDALS. They can take massive advantage of the insecurity nature of campus engage in tomfoolery for now, but at the appropriate time, those nonsense will cease. Watch out for that.