The Asantehene and Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has inaugurated the three-member committee tasked to investigate the October 2018 riot in the university after violent protests by students.
Inaugurating the committee at the Council Chamber of the KNUST on Thursday, he charged the committee to also consider matters concerning the administration of the University which will be relevant to the investigation and make recommendations to help avert future occurrences.
“The terms of reference of the committee are quite precise; to investigate the outbreak of violence on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology on October 22, 2018 and determine all the circumstances both immediate and remote leading to it.”
“Two, to consider any or matters pertaining to the administration of the university which in the opinion of the committee, may be relevant to the investigations. Three, to make such investigations as it may be found necessary to assist the University to avert such instances in the future,” he said.
The three-member committee is chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge, Rose Constance Owusu.
It has Very Rev. Ama Afoblay and Ashanti Regional BNI Director, David Adu Osei, as members, and the Registrar of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Kofi Owusu as the Secretary.
The Chair of the Committee, Justice Constance Rose Owusu, assured that they will not embark on witch-hunting, but will work to serve the best interest of the University.
“We will not let you down. I promise that we will discharge the duty entrusted to us with due diligence, transparency and fairness, We will not witch-hunt anyone. Our goal will be to get to the bottom of the matter with the view to finding a lasting solution to the student unrest phenomenon.”
“Our findings will be based on facts established before the committee. May I use this opportunity to solicit the support of all stakeholders and the general public by calling upon them to furnish the committee with relevant information that will enable us to arrive at a just and acceptable conclusion,” the retired Supreme Court judge stated.
The Chairman of the University Council, Nana Effah Apenteng, says the outcome of the investigations will help chart a new path for the University.
“The committee’s work I fervently hope will help the University Chart a new course and prevent the occrence of such an embarrassing experience in the life of this University. It is generally known that there may be similarities in conflicts or crisis situations but every conflict is unique. Therefore there cannot be any one side fits all formula for solving any conflict; short, long or protracted. What we can do is to learn a lesson from other places”.
Some students have welcomed the decision to set up the committee, and are hopeful that the outcome of the investigations will help address their concerns.
“Knowing that Otumfuo has set up a committee to look into the matter, it is a brilliant idea because students went through a lot before the demonstration,” a student indicated.
“It is necessary that a committee has been set up because they will look into certain things and put things in place,” another student stated.
“We were going through a lot before the demonstration. What caused the demonstration was because students were brutalized. Another reason was because the single-sex halls were changed. Me for instance, I am in Katanga and before the demonstration, we went through a lot. The security was very tight,” a lady explained.
Asantehene has asked the management of the University to provide the committee with all logistics that will be needed to facilitate their work.