Management of University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, in the Western Region, has denied media reports the school cancelled a planned lecture by Mahamudu Bawumia.
A statement issued Tuesday by the school said a lack of consensus by members of the school’s Students Representative Council (SRC) on a decision to invite the NPP vice presidential candidate to speak at a forum forced management of the school to advise against bringing him.
“The facts of the matter are that as part of the SRC week celebration, the Executive Committee of SRC had a meeting with Management of the University on 30th March, 2016 during which they requested for permission to host Dr Bawumia to talk on the topic “Peace: A Pre-requisite for Economic Development” to the general student body,” the statement said.
However, the university explains following complains by some SRC members that they were not in favour of the decision to invite Dr Bawumia, coupled with simmering tension between the SRC executives over the matter, forced the school’s management to propose that a politically neutral person be invited to speak at the forum.
Some SRC executives, those opposing Dr Bawumia’s invitation, apparently thought Nana Akufo-Addo’s running mate may turn the lecture into a political one, according to the statement.
The proposal to invite a politically neutral person, according to the statement signed by the school’s Registrar, A.K. Doku, was accepted by the SRC executives without qualms after a meeting.
“The University did not prevent Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from entering the campus”, the statement stressed.
Some media outlets had reported Tuesday that UMaT cancelled the planned lecture by the former central bank Governor over a flimsy procedural issue. The reports suggested generally that the school’s action was politically motivated.
UMaT’s press release in reaction to the media reports is published in full below.
RE: – “DR BAWUMIA PREVENTED BY AUTHORITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINES AND TECHNOLOGY (UMaT) IN TARKWA IN THE WESTERN REGION, FROM HOLDING A STUDENT’S FORUM ON THE SCHOOL’S CAMPUS”.
The Management of the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa has noted with concern a story circulating in the media to the effect that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was prevented by the University authorities from holding a student’s forum on the University campus. It is important to state that this story is in error.
The facts of the matter are that as part of the SRC week celebration, the Executive Committee of SRC had a meeting with Management of the University on 30th March, 2016 during which they requested for permission to host Dr Bawumia to talk on the topic “Peace: A Pre-requisite for Economic Development” to the general student body.
Since Dr Bawumia is a known economist, it was thought that he would share his knowledge and experiences on the topic for the benefit of our students. The University Management wanted to know from the SRC if all students were in favour of the choice of the speaker, taking into consideration the fact that Dr Bawumia is also a known Politician. The SRC Executives assured Management that the general student body had agreed to the choice made.
Management, therefore, granted the SRC the permission to invite Dr Bawumia on the basis of their assurance. Management directed that Dr Bawumia be given the due protocol.
However, after the permission had been granted, a section of the student body came to see the University Management to register a protest with the reason that the SRC which is politically neutral, could not use the resources of all the students to organise a programme to favour one political party. The University saw the wisdom in that protest and, therefore, on 31st March, 2016, Management held another meeting with the SRC to decide on inviting another economist who was politically neutral to be the Speaker for the Programme. After a long discussion, the SRC saw the wisdom in the University’s position. It is important to state that this decision was taken in the best interest of peace and harmony in the University for smooth academic work.
It is important also to state that the University has a policy that allows all political party affiliates on campus to invite their leaders to speak with them without any difficulty after they have followed the laid down procedures. SRC agreed with Management on the decision to invite another person. It also agreed to let Dr Bawumia’s political group invite him to campus on a different day but not on the ticket of the SRC since the SRC is politically neutral.
On 4th April, 2016 the SRC President called and informed the Vice Chancellor that Dr Bawumia wanted to pay him a courtesy call. Management agreed and was waiting to receive him, only to be told in the evening that because of some technical difficulties on the part of Dr Bawumia, he would not be able to meet the Vice Chancellor and his team.
The University did not prevent Dr Mahamudu Bawumia from entering the campus