By Bernard Kwofie

Prof. Enerst AryiteyJust as the fountain of youth, the University of Ghana appears stopping at nothing in its bid to recoup its supposed GH? 7 million loan secured to rehabilitate its roads. As desperate as a couple seeking a child, one disrupted intervention leads to the other, all perhaps to gain.

So now it has happened that this extreme anxiety has landed the premier University in this mess-parent protesting-as reported midday Monday.

Why? ??They were asked to leave their children at the gate to be conveyed by a bus to the school because, they do not have stickers recently introduced by the university which allow motorists access to use the University’s roads??, report says.

For how much is a sticker worth in a 12month period? GH? 400, this same report says.

Report says, already commercial drivers are paying GH? 500 per year in order to access the University roads or risk paying a fine of GH? 200 when a driver without a sticker stays on campus beyond its 20 minutes permit. These are yet to take action.

This is barely one month after the Larry Gbevlo Lartey led National Security operatives in a ?desperado combat style? at the set of dawn pulled down the University?s toll booths mounted to generate revenue to pay off the supposed debt.

Quoting one disgruntled parent-??it is better they stop this nonsense??. As another parent calls for the ?exit of the vice-chancellor? I am only reminded of a saying my late father left behind-??in life if you are not killed you are left to kill yourself??.

Today it is not students demonstrating against university authorities over unfavourable conditions; that security personnel would be discharged to brutalize and dispel them for merely exercising their democratic rights. It is rather parents of not even these University students but that of its basic school pupils.

It is not aggrieved students demanding the removal of a Vice-Chancellor that some may be victimised in the process but that parents of its basic school pupils.

For me two lessons remain absolute-you can only push but not too hard. Again even if you succeed in pushing that hard it can only hold for a while. People cannot be suppressed for that long. I guess the parents and guardians of the pupils of the university of Ghana basic school have had enough of this alleged ??nonsense?? of no less ordinarily people but a community of distinguished professors and intellectuals.

At a time as many varied thoughts and opinions have been expressed on the Legon tolling ?impasse?, if so be it, I will only dive straight to my corner and ask if this romance is being watch with impunity even as another episode unfolds? Cant it be buried once and for all and even in a more decent and intellectual manner.

In any case let all involved be reminded that the Legon community has students fending for themselves; parents struggling to make ends meet; commercial drivers who are earning little and spending more on fuel and that whatever outcome must not be to disadvantage this vulnerable group.

Again, it is time for the Universities to engage its intellectuals to think creatively on how best to mobilise resources to undertake development projects without necessary overburdening end users.

Government must also sit up and be proactive in providing descent infrastructure for the citizenry to avoid development being sought in shallow thinking.

In the midst of the Legon tolling tale-one is forced to see no need in a ministry of roads and transports when they have been part from the very beginning. In any case what are they doing with the road funds? To follow the suite of GNPC to sponsor the Black Stars to tour Brazil come June? When our roads are in terrible shape?

Bernard Kwofie

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