The University Teachers Association Ghana (UTAG) is demanding the immediate resignation of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Rev. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni.
They accuse the Vice-Chancellor who has been on a sacking spree, relieving lecturers and other non-teaching staff of their post, of victimising the dismissed staff for not being his loyalists.
At a press conference, members of the Association, led by their National President, Dr Eric Opoku Mensah, questioned why “lecturers must be loyal to the Vice Chancellor, Rev. Prof. Afful-Broni, failure of which should lead to their victimisation?
“The University is not a place to build a cult or a sect where followership is a necessity. UTAG notes with concern this growing sectarian nonacademic culture and the rise of a dragon at UEW,” they said.
The UEW has been closed down indefinitely following students riots earlier this month. The students were protesting the dismissal of their lecturers.
The students demanded the reinstatement of their lecturers during the protest
Principal of the College of Languages Education at Ajumako, Prof. Ephraim Avea Nsoh, was sacked because he had not been cooperating with other management members, the Daily Graphic has reported.
The local President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Frimpong Kakyire Duku, was sacked after initiating legal action against his employer “without any cause” and without exhausting internal procedures.
A former Alumni President who was representing the alumni on the University Council, Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong, was sacked based on an allegation that he showed a sign of disrespect to the University Council, by deciding to exclude himself from a Council meeting, which he said was about taking a decision he was not comfortable with.
That’s not all, others were transferred, and the reasons given did not satisfy either lecturers or students.
The students took to the streets to register their displeasure over the developments. They were backed by UTAG who believe their colleagues did nothing wrong to deserve the termination of their appointments.
UTAG suspects nothing but clear victimisation and the abuse of power by the Vice-Chancellor and the Governing Council of the University.
They say Prof. Afful-Broni is on a path to deepening a new culture of fear and silence on UEW campus.
“This culture is antithetical to the very spirit of academia. UTAG strongly admonishes any group or groups interested in the proper corporate culture of a 21st-century University to visit UEW and without doubt, one will witness the collapse of deliberations, consensus building and freedom of expression on the campus.”
They add that “If we do not wake up to cure this canker the effects of the crises of UEW will be perpetuated by generations to come. The situation is so bad that there is now a culture of silence on UEW campuses.
“If this is not true, is the deafening silence of the lecturers on happenings on UEW not surprising? The few who are bold to talk are the ones being dismissed under the guise of a so-called due process.”
Above all these, however, they want Prof Afful-Broni off the Vice-Chancellor seat for his “his vindictive attitude and failure to reconcile factions in the crises he created and benefitted from.”
UTAG has called on the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), the Education Ministry, the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to launch a probe into the many allegations levelled against Prof. Afful-Broni.
“We are again calling on the Catholic Bishops Conference to call Rev. Fr. Prof. Afful-Broni to order since he has become very treacherous and vindictive.”
UTAG wants neutral persons to be brought to lead the management of the UEW and its Governing Council.