Wa Poly Confusion: We’re Not Worried Over Police Invitation – Lecturers

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Leaders of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) in the Upper West Region say they are not unnerved by being invited for questioning by the police over their refusal to allow the Rector of the Wa Polytechnic, Prof. Emmanuel Marfo-Owusu, access to the institution.

According to the Chairman of POTAG in the region, Mubashir Bamie, they “haven’t done anything wrong” and hence, have nothing to fear from the police summons.

He told Citi News that the members of his outfit are ready to cooperate with the police on the issue, and will honour the directive to report back on Monday.

“The leadership of POTAG isn’t too perturbed about the invitation by the police. But we think that we have done nothing wrong and once we have done nothing wrong, we are not afraid of anything. So we went to the police station yesterday [Thursday], and presented our statement to the police and we were granted bail. We are to go back on Monday and speak to them,” Bamia Mubashir said.

The lecturers have served notice they will not allow the Rector access to the campus following allegations of financial mismanagement, which led to him being suspended by the school’s governing council.

According to Mr. Mubashir, the Rector’s personal vendetta against some members of the Polytechnic influenced his complaints to the police, suggesting that he had no concrete reasons to go to the police.

“He [the Rector] just mentioned everybody’s name, everybody that he thinks that he has a problem with on campus, whether the person was at the event or not. He’ll mention your name and the police will call you to come and write your statement,” he said.

Background

Prof. Owusu was suspended by a special committee comprising members of the Polytechnic Governing Council, who were tasked to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against him.

He has however filed a suit seeking to quash his suspension.

There was chaos at the Polytechnic on Monday when some staff locked out Professor Marfo-Owusu, and chased him out of the campus, accusing him of worker intimidation, among other things.

Mubashir Bamie, speaking on behalf of teaching and non-teaching staff of the school, maintained that Prof. Owusu does not deserve to serve in that position given that he had been indicted in some corrupt deals.

Mr. Bamie said workers will repeat a similar action if the Rector returns, saying “if he comes we will block the roads again.”

The lecturers had earlier called on the Governing Council of the institution to cancel the induction ceremony for the Rector, who had been in office for nearly a year, but the induction went ahead.

They alleged that Professor Marfo-Owusu had procured a vehicle for himself at the cost of over five hundred thousand Ghana cedis without the approval of the Governing Council, and hence, should not be inducted.

They have further cited other financial irregularities as the basis for their call.

‘Education Minister responsible’

Prof. Marfo-Owusu, has accused the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh of unfair treatment over his suspension by the school’s governing council.

Addressing the media in Wa, Prof. Marfo-Owusu accused the Minister of being inconsiderate in the current impasse between him and staff of the polytechnic.

“I’m not happy with the Minister of Education’s conduct… When he said that he will take his decision anyway, I look at it like he is being bossy over me. There is no need to be bossy we are all professionals. He should have looked at it like the few minutes he could have given me to be able to appear the following week, would have yielded better results. You don’t take a decision when you haven’t heard from the other side; it is wrong because even in court they need to listen to the other version.”

“But you taking a decision tells me that because you in such a position, you think you can do whatever you want. In any case, if he likes to be bossy because he is a minister, and then he will look down on anybody who works under him it won’t augur well for the nation.”

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