The Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu in the Central Region, where the main campus of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) is situated, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has rubbished claims by Amnesty International, Ghana that there were human rights abuses at the University.
According to the MP, it was quite unfortunate that Amnesty International, Ghana jumped to the defence of Dr Samuel Ofori Bekoe, a lecturer who had been sacked and was facing a criminal case at the court.
Speaking on TV3’s morning show, ‘New Day’ yesterday, Mr Afenyo-Markin said, “I was disappointed when I watched the news where Mr Samuel Agbotsey made certain allegations against the university.”
Mr Afenyo-Markin has, therefore, described Amnesty International’s claims of forceful eviction, victimisation, wrongful dismissal and intimidation as a mode of punishment as false.
He said UEW has four campuses – Kumasi, Mampong, Ajumako and Winneba, and so it was out of place for someone to suggest that transferring a staff member from Winneba to the other campuses was punishment.
According to the lawmaker, what was happening at the university currently was as a result of reforms being introduced by the current Vice Chancellor where students for the first time are able to register online.
“I think Amnesty International should be petitioned about the conduct of its Ghana staff because they are going beyond their boundary,” he said.
He accused the staff of Amnesty International of having personal interest in the matter other than being professional.
The Member of Parliament for North Dayi, Mr George Loh, sharing an opinion, said he was quite surprised that Amnesty International did not wait to issue their annual report on the subject but organised a press conference to that effect.
Mr Loh, however, said it is sometimes heartbreaking to see real human rights abuse against individuals and called the two parties to desist from commenting on issues which were already in court until their final determination.
It would be recalled that the DAILY HERITAGE yesterday published a front page story captioned ‘AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TAKES ON UEW, OVER BLATANT HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES’ in which the human rights body cited cases of human rights abuses against staff members by the university authorities.
Amnesty stands by press conference
Reacting to the comments, Mr Samuel Agbotsey, fundraising and campaign coordinator, Amnesty International, Ghana, said their interest was about the human right abuses that were being meted out against individuals at the university.
He said the board of the university was aware of the press conference, hence they were not afraid of anything.
Mr Agbotsey said the rent law gives tenants the opportunity of 90 days ultimatum before eviction but in the case of Dr Bekoe, the university authority violated the law.
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Education and the President and the University community to resolve the issues before things get out of hand.