The Upper West Regional Communication Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress has finally taken their bite on the happenings in the Wa UDS brouhaha. Below is the full press release
PRESS RELEASE ON THE STATURE OF UDS AND THE DEMAND FOR AUTONOMY OF THE WA CAMPUS.
8th November, 2018.
Ladies and gentlemen from the media, we are grateful for your prompt response to our call for attention, as we speak on a burning issue that is very dear to the hearts of the Chiefs and all the natives of the Upper West Region.
The events of the past two weeks pertaining to the stature of the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies are very serious issues that cannot be swept under the carpet without any conscious efforts at addressing them or finding appropriate ways of mitigating the concerns that, the youth and chiefs have raised.
We wish to applaud the Chiefs, Youth and teeming crowd that poured out on the streets last week to peacefully protest against all latent steps that are taken either consciously or unconsciously to run down all gains that have been made as far as the Wa Campus of UDS is concern.
We unreservedly associate ourselves with the clarion call to halt all surreptitious maneuverings that are targeted at dismembering the numerical strength of the Wa Campus as well as the removal of all bottle necks associated with the timely release of subventions for the running of the Wa Campus and the completion of infrastructural development.
Ladies and gentlemen, the UDS was established by PNDC Law 279 as a potent growth pole to blend the academic world with that of practical community life situation, so as to provide the leverage for the development of Northern Ghana in particular and the country as a whole.
There is no gainsay that, the institution has been very pivotal in the poverty alleviation drive, the enhancement of tertiary education as well as contributing to the course of national integration, as many students travel from all parts of this country to study in its campuses.
It is unfortunate though that, prevailing circumstances at the University defeats the principles that occasioned the Multi Campus system of the University, where social science programs were designated to the Wa Campus.
The silent dismembering of faculties in the Wa Campus and the creation of rival departments on other campuses to run social science programs has occasioned the situation where the Wa Campus is gradually becoming a pale shadow of its original stature.
The ripple repercussions are enormous as businesses are running to a halt, the process of national integration is hindered and the opportunities to access tertiary education is limited.
This gloomy situation is the genesis of a public uproar from the Chiefs and people of the Upper West, against the University management and principal officers of the University who are accused of making decisions that weakens the numerical strength of Wa Campus in addition to paying no attention to the infrastructural needs of the Wa Campus. This has since underpinned the call for the conversion of the Wa Campus into an autonomous University so as to provide the enhanced opportunities for tertiary education and poverty alleviation.
In sync with The Government of Ghana’s agenda to set up autonomous public Universities to serve as incubators of development and public enlightenment, Government under His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama set up the Dr. Christine Amoako-Nuamah’s Committee in April, 2015 to see to the conversion of the three campuses of UDS to autonomous Universities.
This decision was at the behest of the demand for social justice by the Chiefs and people of the Upper West Region.
After broad consultation and rigorous background checks, the Committee recommended the Wa Campus to be granted autonomy with its new name as University for Business and Integrated Development Studies (UBIDS), the Navrongo Campus also granted autonomy and renamed as University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS), whilst the Tamale and Nyankpala Campuses remains as University for Development Studies (UDS).
The interim report on this matter was submitted to Government in May, 2016 and the final report submitted in August,2016.
The report had received cabinet approval by November, 2016 and was awaiting implementation in September, 2017 when the appropriate legislation would have been created for it by the parliament of Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is sad that, the NDC lost the 2016 general election, resulting to a hold up on the completion of this noble social intervention, that per all indications, will occasion a giant leap in the educational and economic infrastructure of the Upper West Region.
The absolute silence of the Nana Addo’s regime on the continuation of the conversion process, puts the project in limbo with the associated upheavals and public tensions that are arising. In the midst of these distasteful circumstances and the disappointments that the people are enduring after the project seems stagnated for the past two years, we wish to make the following pronouncements:
That the call for autonomous Universities out of UDS is a call for social justice and must be treated expeditiously without further delay or recourse to any political considerations.
That the erstwhile administration under John Dramani Mahama has initiated the process and had almost completed almost every documentary process that is needed in the conversion.
Governance is a continum and His Excellency President Nana Addo should endeavor to complete the implementation of this project.
That government should show adequate commitment to the process by giving clear timelines regarding the conversion process.
That Government must show sufficient commitment to the course of Tertiary education in the Upper West Region, by completing all the stalled infrastructural projects that are currently dotted around the Wa Campus.
That government must intervene in ensuring the expeditious release of subventions from the Central Administration to the Wa Campus for the smooth running of the Campus.
Government must be fair and firm in the judicious allocation of the largesse of the state to all regions in the country.
Conclusively, we wish to reiterate our firm demand on His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and the NPP Government, to show good faith to the demand for social justice by rising up to task to continue with the conversion process that had gotten to its pinnacle before Ghanaians ceded power over to them. Thank you.