General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2018
The embattled Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso is a committed member of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), former Deputy Chief of Staff under ex-President Mahama, Jonnie Osei Kofi has confirmed.
According to him, Prof. Obiri Danso was the first NDC Ashanti Regional Secretary and holds deep the values of the party.
In the wake of the recent disturbance that rocked the university which resulted in its shut down, there were calls by some leading members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Prof. Danso to be booted out of office because he was working in the interest of the opposition NDC.
Firebrand Legislator and financier of the ruling NPP asked President Akufo-Addo to dismiss Prof. Obiri Danso claiming the VC’s controversial decision to convert Unity and Katanga Halls was intended to cause disaffection for the Akufo Addo government.
According to him, Prof. Obiri Danso must be sacked because he’s a dyed in the wool member of the opposition NDC party and an appointee of former President, John Dramani Mahama, adding that he [VC] was hostile towards the now governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) when it was in opposition.
“If I had the power I would have sacked him long ago, he’s a thick NDC member, I can give you his history. If the NDC wants us to do politics with the KNUST issue I’m ready for that, the Vice Chancellor is late P.V Obeng’s boy, I don’t know if the NPP doesn’t have this information.
“When we were going to KNUST, the VC refused to allow Akufo Addo to enter the place because he was appointed by ex-President Mahama, but Katanga boys who were not happy with the Vice Chancellor’s decision stormed out and led Akufo Addo’s entourage inside. The NPP must wake up, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The VC never thought there will ever be a day where there’ll be a change of government. Otumfuo, please stop pampering the VC otherwise we can’t solve the problem.
But in an exclusive interview with Kasapa FM’s Akwasi Nsiah on the sidelines of the NDC congress, the former Deputy Chief of Staff stated that though the VC’s political affiliation to the opposition NDC is not in doubt he’s not done anything wrong to warrant political persecution from the ruling party.
“Yes he[KNUST VC] was the first NDC Ashanti Regional Secretary, it is a fact, it’s not something anybody will deny. But for a long time, he has not mounted NDC political platform. If you ask somebody like NPP’s F.F Anto, he knows Prof. Obiri Danso very well, he an NPP Man will defend the VC and not me.
“In the wake of the KNUST impasse, some people said the VC once vowed never to allow then-candidate Akufo Addo to visit the University campus so when they assume power they’ll ensure he’s booted out of office. But he’s never said that. Whoever said that the VC had said so told a lie. That person is called Domfeh, a retired Administrator at KNUST who I worship with him at the same church. He asked the VC to allow the NPP hold an event that Akufo Addo and Dr Bawumia will be attending at the Great Hall and he [VC] told him to write officially and apply for the venue. Instead of working to have the secure the venue, he rather went to sleep, and when the time was up for the event and in a bid to cover himself he lied that the VC said he would not allow the NPP and Akufo Addo to hold the event.
“Minister of Education Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh knows the facts and the truth about this issue and I’m told President Akufo Addo was also told the whole truth about this matter.
The government on Monday, October 29, 2018, asked Prof Obiri Danso to step aside following violent protest by students of the university which resulted in the damage of property worth GHC1.7 million a fortnight ago.
The National Council for Tertiary Education asked the Vice-Chancellor to vacate his position and allow for interim governing council to take over the administration of the university.
He, however, returned to his position thanks to the intervention by the Chancellor of the University, the Asantehene, who asked that the old governing council which was dissolved by the Ministry of Education be re-constituted.