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Concern Citizens of Upper West worried about delay in autonomising UBIDS

By: Ida T. Nakaar

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Concern Citizens of Upper West worried about delay in autonomising UBID
The Concern Citizens of Upper West Region says top management of the Tamale campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) is employing draconian means to thwart the autonomy of the Wa campus of the University.
This followed the announcement made by the president Nana Akufo Addo in November 2018.
According to the group, UDS top management had initiated some steps to undermine the decision to establish the S.D. Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies UBIDS.
This was contained in a press release signed by the president Issahaque Suleman in Wa on Monday and copied to the minister of education and the president.
The group identified the deliberate removing of persons perceived to be committed to the decision to establish the UBIDS from their current positions and relocating them to other areas as some of the tactics to delay the transition process.
The group said in the statement that it was expecting Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Vice Chancellor and Nutifafa Kuenyehia Esq, Council Chair to play a leading role in engineering the passage of the University’s autonomous campuses document into Law, and facilitate the composition of the necessary transitional officers for UBIDS.
According the statement, the group had appealed to President Akofo Addo to use his good office to continue to support the Minister of Education to bring to reality the passage of the UBIDS autonomous campus document into Law.

 

Please read the full statement bellow

 

PRESS RELEASE
BY CONCERN CITIZENS, WA

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WA CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AS UNIVERSITY OF BUSINESS
AND INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
DATED FRIDAY, 22ND FEBRUARY, 2019

H.E. President Nana Dankwa Akuffo Addo, following your announcement of the Autonomy for UDS, Wa Campus on the 10th of November, 2018 all citizens of Upper West Region were and are still full of joy but as usual the top management of UDS in Tamale are employing subtle and draconian means to frustrate and thwart the autonomy process and even kill the survival of the Wa campus at birth.
The following are few of the critical reasons:
On the 17th November, 2018 during a Postgraduate congregations on the Tamale Campus barely 7 days after the pronouncement of the autonomy status for all the Campuses in the three (3) regions, the speech delivered by the Chairman of UDS Governing Council sought to suggest that the autonomy status for the three Campuses was gloomy and that they were still going to continue to govern the campuses as such until all the infrastructural gaps were bridged before we start thinking of the autonomy status. By this statement H. E Our President, this statement sustains the fear that the same top management who are frustrating the autonomy process are clinching onto the basic infrastructural development gap they self-created over the past years by clandestinely redirecting most buildings previously earmarked for Wa Campus (ie the GUSS Hostel, Faculty of Modern Languages etc) to Tamale followed by their enthusiasm to implement their secretly generated lopsided realignment document which sought to tacitly relocate over 16 academic programmes, 13 Departments and 2 major faculties meant for Wa to Tamale which was likened to them acting in bad faith which some citizens and landlords are still battling in the High Court. The first GUSS Hostel with a capacity of accommodating over 1500 students which was earmarked for Wa with a student Population of nearly 13000 was relocated in Tamale with a student population of less than 1000 students. The second GUSS Hostel the Council Chairman approved last week (13th February, 2019) is of the same capacity. H. E Our President, If the first Hostel constructed is not breaking even and Management continually use students academic user fees to service the interest accruing from the loan, why approve the construction of a second one when the UBIDS is facing infrastructural gaps to the extend that the resident medical Doctor stationed at the Wa Campus Hospital has been sacked from his apartment by management to relocate around Kaleo road so as to enable his room to be converted into office.

Following the announcement of the autonomous campuses, UDS top management have initiated and are indeed executing a number of steps which have, as their ultimate goal and effect, undermining the decision to establish the S. D Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (DUBIDS), some of which steps include;
Deliberately removing persons perceived to be committed to the decision to establish the UBIDS from their current positions relocating them to other areas in order to make the transition into autonomy difficult or impossible.
Deliberately positioning persons believed to have been opposed to the establishment of the UBIDS as principals of the three campuses of the UDS including the Wa campus with a view to exploiting them to ensure that the establishment of the UBIDS is undermined (see page 15 of the 2016 interim report).

Deliberately omitting to give any attention to the necessary infrastructural developments necessary and required for successfully entrenching the UBIDS. This is evidenced by an emergency council meeting dated 13th February, 2019 where the chairman approved for the construction of yet a second GUSS Hostel in Tamale with Lecturers and workers pension fund contribution in to GUSS.

Refusal to engage stakeholders on the transition plan for establishing the UBIDS since announcement in November last year and hurried positioning the council chairman as chair for a transitional team for all the autonomous campuses at the emergency council meeting to further UBIDS establishment.

Refusal to let staff represent UDS, Wa campus to show case Wa Campus UDS Programmes at a Senior High Schools Educational fair in Wa though University of Ghana, Accra, Cape Coast University, KNUST etc were present in Wa for the two days to interact with participants.

Given the facts above outlined, We the concerned citizens of Wa think it important to draw the attention of the UDS Council Chair and top Management to the fact that a decision having been taken by H. E our President of Ghana to establish UBIDS is in accordance with the constitutional policy on education, it will be highly subversive of the Constitution as well as the Government’s decision on the matter to engage in any act(s) or omission(s) which will either undermine or are likely to undermine the decision to establish the UBIDS Which we Pledge as Citizens and not spectators to resist with all our might.
We anticipated that as UDS Vice Chancellor, you would have together with the University Council chair and with a view to ensuring that Government as the appropriate State institution delivers on its constitutional mandate to “provide educational facilities at all levels and in all the regions of Ghana”, make all the arrangements necessary as required in so far as the internal organisation of the University is concerned, to establish, continue and/or empower the appropriate faculties, institutes, schools, departments, centres, units, campuses and other associated bodies to ensure that the UBIDS exists as an autonomous university.

We the citizens also expected that the Vice Chancellor and Council Chair were to play a foremost (not passive) role such as;
engineering the passage of the University’s autonomous campuses document into Law contrary to which they at their emergency council meeting are rather asking staff to indicate whether they were satisfied with the provisions in the bills. This is another wicked calculated attempt to incite staff. Such provisions they are alluding to are often captured in the statute and not the bill which is the prerogative of government.

Instead of facilitating the composition of the necessary and appropriate transitional officers for the UBIDS and seeking clearance from the sector minister for education, the council chair who acted in bad faith already is imposing himself as transitional team chair for all the other autonomous campus so as to further thwart and frustrate the UBIDS process.
Instead of putting in place the necessary structures for the decentralization of the students’ admission for the 2019/2020 academic year to the three (3) autonomous Campuses as announced by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana. UDS top management quickly following the announcement went ahead to advertise programmes as though government was not working on the bill.
In view of the above display of bad faith by the UDS top management, H. E. Our President, we wish to plead for your assistance to use your good office to continue to support the sector Minister for Education to:-
Bring to reality the passage of the UBIDS autonomous campus document into Law which the Minister for Education is currently working on.

Direct that, students’ admission for 2019/2020 academic year be decentralized to the three (3) autonomous Campuses announced you announced beginning with programmes advertisements and applications forms forthwith.

Establish a Transitional Team of employees with institution memory to start the reallocation of the UDS Assets and Liabilities to the Autonomous campuses announced.

Constitute acting officers to include (e.g. VC, Registrar, Directors of Finance, etc) from among qualified employees from UBIDS in Wa for at least a one (1) year duration following the appointment of substantive officers by January, 2020.

Demand that, the newly appointed Acting officers will then provide government with a situational report after need assessment for future budgetary support going forward. Else the current top management of UDS will hand over skeleton to UBIDS given the behaviour and attitude.
Thank you H. E. Our President.

Signed
By President, Concerned citizens, Wa

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