The Tertiary Education Students? Confederacy (TESCON) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have jointly called on the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, the Dean of Students and the entire University management of the University of Ghana to as a matter of urgency reverse the directive placing a virtual ban on political activities within the Legon campus.

The two political youth wingsin Legon, therefore called for a stakeholders meeting of party representatives, the Students? Representatives Council, Parliamentary Candidates concerned and functionaries of the various Political Parties to find ways of addressing the concerns of the University management based on which it brought forth this directive.

This directive, according to the school, was basically for the safety and sanctity of academic work of students and staff of the university.

A press statement jointly signed and issued by the president of TESCON, Kofi Abrefa Afena Benedict, and the president of TEIN, Nuhu Basheed, and copied to Today in Accra yesterday said their call is because they believe that though, the university may have genuine and altruistic motives for issuing this directive, it is most undemocratic and highly misplaced.

?We are of the strongest conviction that it would have been more democratic, appropriate and worthwhile for the management of the University to have  engaged in proper consultations with the various party representatives in the University, Parliamentary Candidates contesting in constituencies which include the University of Ghana campuses  and the Students? Representative Council so that we as stakeholders could have come to an amicable arrangement on how the security of students as well as the academic sanctity of students could have been preserved in the run up to the December elections,? the statement noted.

The statement recognized that the University of Ghana with numerous campuses is very significant in terms of the numbers, almost of who are potential voters, and therefore this policy is most frustrating.

It noted that the point must be made that such directives go a long way to highlight the unfortunate mentality that Politics is inevitably associated with violence and unrests, ?something intellectuals like us must strive to erode.?

?For us, this attempt by the University to gag the activities of political parties and politicians on campus is very strange especially as the University is seeking to say that political activities on campuses are recipes for chaos and violence?One would obviously want to know if political activities in the past such as rallies have had the consequence, the University management wants the world to believe and if not, what the basis of the directive is then,? the leaders offered.

The statement said if anything, the students of the Legon campuses have known violence to be associated more with activities such as Hall week celebrations, student elections and sporting activities. They therefore lamented that one wonders why the University did not proceed to ban these activities in the first place or place equal bans on them as they have sought to do with partisan political activities.

?We also find it strange the source of the directive. We do know that it is the function of the Dean of Students to sanction all meetings with respect to the venue and timing and as far as we know the Dean of students is carrying out this function effectively and smoothly; for the Registrar to be the source of this directive only points to a duplication of roles,?it said.

The statement therefore called for a complete revocation of the ban as soon as possible.

?In the Unlikely event that this civil entreaty fail, the statement assured the youth of Ghana and the entire Student body of the University of Ghana who are solidly behind us that we would use all democratic and constitutional means to press home our demand since this course of action is a violation of the constitution which espouses freedom of Movement and freedom of association.

It is our hope that the university management would find wisdom in our position,? statement concluded.


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