UG controversy is untidy- Baako Jnr

The Editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide Newspaper Kweku Baako Jnr is blaming the parties involved in the University of Ghana toll and sticker controversy for the "untidy" manner with which they have handled the issue.

While he believed that the premier university may have a case, he said the manner in which they have gone about addressing the issue has deepened the controversy.

Discussing the matter on Joy FM's newsfile programme, Baako Jnr was even more critical of the Ministry of Education who he accused of trying to be "opportunistic."

The several weeks long controversy began with the decision by the university to charge commercial drivers tolls for using the university campus roads as thoroughfare.

demolished toll booth

The National Security Advisor Retd Col Gbevlo Lartey and his men demolished the toll booths, an action which got the university community angry.

Government intervened with a promise it would pay for the cost of constructing the roads and directed the university to stop collecting the tolls.

The university claimed it was charging the tolls to pay for the cost of a loan it took for the construction of some roads.

Whilst waiting for the government to honour its promise, the university instituted another policy which said that only vehicles with a university sticker costing an annual fee of 400 cedis would be allowed to use certain gates within the  university.

Out of four entry and exit points within the university only one was opened to the public without a fee or sticker.

Last week parents whose children attend university primary had a bust-up with officials of the university. They said they neither can be prevented from entering the university nor be made to drop their children at the entrance of the university for them  walk several meters before going to school every morning.

After this chaos the Ministry of Education also intervened and demanded the university to formally write to the ministry explaining why they were implementing such a law. The ministry has since responded.

Kweku Baako Jnr is convinced the controversy has been driven more by "emotions" instead of sobriety.

"The University itself is blamable for the untidiness" he observed but said the Ministry of Education, having noticed some level of public animosity against the university, decided to capitalise on that and make itself look good.

He called for sober reflections and for competent persons to discuss the matter dispassionately to find a middle ground for all parties.