The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II says he has accepted the report of the committee set up to look into last year’s disturbances at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The incident saw violent demonstrations by some students who destroyed properties valued at about GH₵1.6 million.
Speaking at the University’s 2019 Founder’s Day graduation ceremony, the Asantehene said he and other stakeholders were committed to sustaining peace in the institution.
“You may recall that during the 53rd Congregation in July, I mentioned in my address that the committee I set up to investigate the students’ disturbances last year had submitted its report and I was studying it. I have accepted the report, and I commend the committee for the thorough work done. I would refer the report to the council but before then, I will engage in consultation with stakeholders of the University on the way forward,” he stated.
“Let me take advantage of this forum to reassure everyone here that the University remains committed to providing a safe and secure academic environment conducive for undertaking relevant research, quality teaching, entrepreneurship training and community engagement as is required of a first-class university as KNUST,” he assured.
He further reiterated the need for the government to provide more residential facilities at various public tertiary institutions in the country to help reduce the challenges students face with respect to accommodation.
He said: “This is not the first time I am raising this issue. I am told about 22 private entities have contacted the University for the purpose of constructing student accommodation on campus. Unfortunately, not much has been seen in terms of actual construction works.” “As stakeholders, there is the urgent need for all of us including government to engage in a dispassionate discourse on the best way to provide residential accommodation on campus before the next academic year when the first batch of graduates of the nation’s Free SHS is admitted into the universities.”
Students of KNUST on 22nd October 2018 led by the Students Representative Council embarked on a demonstration that was supposed to be peaceful, but later turned out to be violent and led to the destruction of some properties.
Among the factors that led to the demonstration by students included the conversion of single-sex halls (University, Unity and Africa halls) into mixed halls.
Some students said they were abused by the university’s internal security; a move they say triggered the demonstration.
Others also raised objections about the celebration of all hall weeks within one week, consolidation of all students’ accounts among others.
Some students as part of the demonstration called for some principal officers of the university to be sacked.
The Asantehene who doubles as the Chancellor of KNUST on 14th February 2019 inaugurated a committee that was charged to probe the disturbances to come up with recommendations.
He said the committee presented its final report to him in July 2019.