By Nicholas Osei Wusu.
Foreign students and their Ghanaian colleagues working on their Project Work or Thesis at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), have permission of the Management to remain on Campus following the expiration of the ultimatum given by the Ashanti Regional Security Council to all students to leave the University’s premises after vacation.
The deadline expired at 12 pm Saturday, September 18, 2021.
GBC’s Nicholas Osei Wusu reports that a significant number of students at the Halls were seen packing out at the time of visit. They hastened to comply with the ultimatum as at midday.
On Monday, September 13, 2021, the Ashanti Regional Security Council, REGSEC, through its Chairman, Simon Osei Mensah, issued a statement giving students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST a deadline of midday of Saturday, September 18, 2021, to vacate Campus for home.
The decision followed what the REGSEC noted was intelligence gathered indicating that resident students of the University Hall commonly known as Katanga Hall and their colleagues at the Unity Hall had planned to cause disturbances due to an existing unhealthy rivalry between them.
GBC News arrived at the KNUST about 30 minutes before the deadline of 12 pm to observe the general atmosphere on Campus. After a drive around the campus, it was observed that only a handful of State Security Operatives were seen around who had positioned at certain joints but with very little to do.
Information gathered was that security had been very tight till the dawn of Saturday with the arrangement for the Friday being the heaviest in view of the fact that, that was when students’ social activities including ‘Gyama’ (indigenous rendition of popular songs for entertainment and Cheer Groups), become very pronounced.
At the Halls, it was again observed that the KNUST’s internal Security Personnel were fully in charge ensuring that the resident students peacefully went through the protocols of checking out for home. At the Unity Hall, one of the two Halls which students’ behaviour had led to the REGSEC ultimatum, the premises was very busy with students packing bag and baggage and going through the checking out processes. The Senior Hall Tutor, Dr. Avuglah noted that, the previously all males Hall, now accommodates nearly 2 thousand students of both sexes and that once they had shown good intent to comply with the deadline, they would not be sanctioned even after expiration of the ultimatum.
At the Katanga Hall, the other traditional Hall also connected to recent students’ rowdyism on the KNUST Campus, the students were also very busy checking out. However, no official was available to speak to GBC News. The situation was no different at Queen Elizabeth, Africa, Independence and other traditional Halls of residence.
It was observed to be the ‘cocoa season'(money-making) for Uber and Bolt drivers as well as a few of the KNUST registered taxi drivers whose services became much sought after by the traveling students.
Hours after the expiration of the ultimatum, some students were still seen at locations of the University very without any indication they would be leaving despite the ultimatum.
In a telephone interview, the University’s Relations Officer, URO, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, expressed the Management’s position on the external security measures.
The URO explained the foreign students numbering about 700 have about a week to also vacate Campus.
Dr. Bekoe noted that Police presence would be in place for about 1 month to ensure there is absolute peace and safety and expressed management’s appreciation for the REGSEC’s timely intervention that had averted any possible breach of the peace at KNUST.