Gov’t decision to relocate campus of UESD “illegal and insulting”- Okudzeto Ablakwa

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Former deputy education minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described as illegal and an insult to Parliament government's attempt to relocate a second campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) from Donkorkrom to Bunso.

Okudzeto Ablakwa said the foundation campus for the university is entrenched in an Act of Parliament and, so, government cannot abandon Donkorkrom without recourse to the legislature.

“If you look at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Act, Act 898, it is clear in Section 3 of the Act that the foundation campuses will be in Somanya and Donkorkrom. After [that] the university council has the right to establish other campuses in other parts of the country.

“For the government to be proceeding to site this second campus in Bunso, the government has engaged in an illegality and flagrantly disregarded the Act, and, for that matter, affronting a decision of parliament” he added.

But the Ministry of Education in a statement signed by the sector minister Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh said in the handing over notes during the transition following the 2016 election, the previous government did not mention Donkorkrom as a prospective site, clearly because there had been no agreement to site a university campus there.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to state unequivocally that Hon. Ablakwa’s claim that an agreement had been reached to set up the university with Donkorkrom as one of its campuses and that government has reneged on it by relocating it to Bunso is completely false, preposterous and without merit.”

Mr. Ablakwa in a radio interview admits there is nothing wrong with government establishing additional campuses, but said the Akufo-Addo administration must not “shortchange the people of Donkorkrom. Don’t discriminate, we are all Ghanaians”.

He concluded that government should raise additional funding so that “you do Donkorkrom and you can do any other campus including Bunso and any other campus.