The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has inaugurated a three-member Committee to investigate the disturbances on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) campus, last year, which led to closure of the University for some time.
The Committee, which is chaired by a former Supreme Court Judge, Rose Constance Owusu, is tasked to determine the immediate and remote causes while also considering matters which in their opinion are germane to the inquiry’s ultimate goal.
They are expected to make recommendations to avert any future recurrence, based on their findings.
The Chancellor of the University, the Asantehene, noted this is the second time in the history of the university that a judge-led committee of inquiry has been appointed to look into an event on campus – while emphasising that the recent disturbances were the worst in the university’s history.
He said there is a long way ahead to repair the damage done to the school’s integrity.
“Its significance, however, goes beyond this university and stretches to encompass the entire stage of tertiary education in Ghana. Most of the challenges faced by our university may be at play in the rest of our state-owned universities.”
The Asantehene therefore said the ability to resolve the relevant issues within the university’s statutes should inspire confidence in both the academic community and authorities of states, as well as among parents and guardians.
He stated that it is the legitimate concern of everyone to see that institutions of higher learning which attract massive taxpayer resources are seen fulfilling their mandate of preparing intellectually-equipped and morally uplifting leaders, and not nurturing students to be otherwise.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II called for the cooperation of interest groups to enable the Committee come out with recommendations that will accrue to the integrity of KNUST.
The violent demonstration by students led to the destruction of properties estimated at GH₵1.7million.
The students were protesting what they alleged to be ill-treatment and brutalities by the school authorities and security personnel.
The aggrieved students were also protesting against plans by the university’s authorities to convert the single-sex halls into mixed halls.
The Asantehene was optimistic the Committee’s work will help enhance the managerial and academic integrity of the KNUST.
The chairperson of the Committee, Justice Rose Constance Owusu, said findings of the committee will be based on facts.
She asked for the support of all stakeholders to furnish the committee with relevant information.
Other members of the Committee are the Very Rev. Ama Afo Blay, a former Director General of the Ghana Education Service; and Regional Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), David Adu Osei.
The Registrar of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, Kofi Owusu, will serve as the Secretary.