Government has resolved to relocate the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the University of Ghana campus to ensure its safety.
This follows a report by Pulse.com.gh that the statue had been defaced by some unknown individuals who are believed to be behind the “Gandhi Must Fall” campaign.
An online petition which has so far collected about 1,700 signatures said the statue glorified a man who was “uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race,” and allowing it to remain made the university appear to hold double-standards.
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But a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Wednesday [October 5] said the allegations of Gandhi being a racist are “unfortunate verbal attacks”.
According to the Ministry, government erected the statue on the University of Ghana campus with the consent of the University’s authorities adding “The University was not compelled by government to accept the statue.”
It added that “While acknowledging that human as he was, Mahatma Gandhi may have had his flaws, we must remember that people evolve. He inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.”
“The government would, therefore want to relocate the statue from the University of Ghana to ensure its safety and to avoid the controversy on the Legon Campus being a distraction of our strong ties of friendship that has existed over the years.
To this end, the Ministry is urging Ghanaians to look beyond the comments attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and acknowledge his role as one of the most outstanding personalities of the last century who demonstrated that non-violent,” the statement said.
Academics at the University of Ghana are demanding a statue of “racist” Gandhi be pulled down.
The campaign dubbed “Ghandi Must Fall” and “Ghandi for Come Down” was started by a number of professors, students, alumni and some Ghanaians with Prof. Akosua Adomako as its leader.
The statue was erected on June 14 this year at the recreational quadrangle. It was donated by India’s president Pranab Mukherjee when he visited the campus.
Since then there has been agitation from many students, alumni, and Ghanaians over the statue being on campus.
The online petition has been addressed to the members of the University of Ghana Council and the chairman Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi.
On Tuesday (October 4, 2016), it was realised that the statue has been defaced in the cover of darkness on Monday. No group or individual has taken responsibility for the action yet, but it is believed that this was done by some supporters of the Gandhi Must Fall movement.