UEW impasse: ‘I’m not interfering’ – Afenyo-Markin

Afenyo-Markin UEW
MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Member of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has said  he gets disappointed by allegations that his office has been  interfering in the affairs of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

 The  lawmaker who has been at the center of recent developments at the UEW is waging a war against what he claims  was injustice being perpetuated by the dismissed Vice Chancellor (V.C) Professor Mawutor Avoke’s administration. 

He has also been vocal against same under the leadership of the current VC, Rev. Father Prof Anthony Afful-Bronyi whose administration has dismissed about 32 staff of the school, including lectures, for ‘unjustifiable’ reasons. 

Speaking with journalists in Parliament earlier today,  Afenyo-Markin said his constant involvement in the affairs of the UEW, located in his constituency, is  to ensure that it functions  properly devoid of victimization.

“I get a bit disappointed when people say my office is interfering in the affairs of the University. It cannot be,” he exclaimed. “We owe it a duty to mother Ghana and a duty to academia to ensure that the right things are done”. he stated.”If we allow things to degenerate, [under the guise of academic freedom and autonomy] one day, it will come back and hunt all of us. What was wrong yesterday remains wrong today and will remain wrong tomorrow”, the legislator fumed.    Touching on the reinstatement of three dismissed lecturers, Afenyo-Markin said the reinstatement must not be done selectively.

The UEW’s Governing Council in a statement issued and signed by its Chairman, Prof Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah, said the Council had reviewed its disciplinary action against the trio – Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Dr Frimpong Kaakyire Duku, Dr Emmanuel Osei Sarpong -, announcing that the school would be reopened on Monday April 8. 

“Reconciliation must not be done in a manner that will not give a positive impression. Dr Bekoe is supposed to be reinstated. I don’t see why Bekoe should be left out. I don’t see why Agbeshi will have to sit at home on suspension. I don’t see why Dr. Duku would be reinstated and others left out. I expect that the right thing should be done,” he stated. 
According to Afenyo-Markin, the “gang of six,” comprising of Professor Avoke and five other administrative staff, were supposed to be compensated for ‘wrongful dismissal’ but that has not been the case. 

“I want a full package [for them] but to solve it half-way……creates a disturbing situation. So I will plead with the VC and all stakeholders to work around the clock to ensure that this matter is resolved. 

“I have taken a position that if the Vice Chancellor cannot demonstrate ability to reconcile, then there is no point in him being there. We all had confidence in him, we all believed in his vision for the university and that is why when he petitioned my office, I took the matter up,” he stressed. 

On the way forward, Mr Afenyo-Markin said if the issues were properly addressed, the lecturers, the students and the workers would be ready and willing to work with VC. 

For peace to rein on campus as the Winneba and Ajumako campuses of the UEW reopens on Monday, Afenyo-Marking said “it depends on the posture of the Vice Chancellor. I am calling on him to play that role which will give people hope and assurances”.

“We need a peaceful UEW. UEW must make progress. The UEW brand must be a brand of choice but all these can only be achieved if we have a leadership that is showing commitment and that commitment must come from the VC and not any other and of the VC is ready to lead that charge, I am more than assured that things will turn for the better.”

By: Theresa Adezewa Aryeetey

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