Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Students’ Representative Council (SRC) was getting ready to decide who leads the student front for the next academic year after weeks of intense campaign and electioneering processes. This was going as constitutionally mandated in fulfillment of Chapter 3 of the SRC constitution as amended in 2011. The KNUST SRC Electoral Commission(EC) was all set to see students through the election slated for 26th March 2020, but the presidential order to close all schools during the COVID-19 outbreak caused the elections to be postponed indefinitely.
Thirteen out of the fourteen aspirants in this year’s elections qualified and are currently vying for various portfolios. These include the president, general secretary, financial secretary, and the women’s commissioner.
Bright Emmanuel Ampofo, Appiah Selasie Kwame Jake, Samuel Sesah and Rexford Joseph Bonney are vying for the position of KNUST SRC president. Meanwhile, Ibrahim Ali was disqualified from the presidential race.
Stephanie Ofori Prempeh and Matilda Koduah compete for the position of general secretary.
Jean Otoo Jnr, Jackson Amoah Owusu, Osei Fosu Solomon, Agbewu Bright Akwasi are running for financial secretary.
Rabiatu Siaka, Delali Forgive Setugah, and Rosetta Darkwah Opoku are running for the office of women’s commissioner.
Read on to know the new twists to the KNUST SRC elections.
The available options were online voting, delegate election and voting after school’s resumption. After what seemed like years of meetings and deliberations, a decision was reached. Voting after resumption of school was chosen.
The decision caused a banter between the candidates and the EC due to some communication lapses. The KNUST SRC President Mr. Adu Baah Charles signed an Interim Students Representative Council (ISRC) Act, which was confused for an executive instrument. The Interim Students’ Representative Council (ISRC) to manage the affairs of the Council until an election is organized to elect substantial executives. This decision was unwelcoming to some students, generated a debate, and resulted in a legal battle.
“Escape hatch of the SRC,” Ninnette Bediako voices out.
“The ISR Committee is alien to the KNUST SRC Constitution. If it must be done, it must be done right,” Gifty Aku.
“SRC busted! Illegality of ISRC exposed,” KSPH explains.
“The Interim Students Representative Committee is legal and laudable,” Ezekiel Osei (LA Member)
Related Article: DROP THE ISRC ACT NOW; It’s Unconstitutional and Shameful
These were some of the headlines that the brouhaha about the Interim Students’ Representative Council (ISRC) generated. The legal tussle saw the ISRC Act annulled and referred to Parliament for proper resolution. Parliament did the needful and fast forward on July 30, 2020, Mr. Ether Abu Ayim was sworn in as the Interim KNUST SRC president for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The turn of events has compelled all candidates to recalibrate their messages and thus became good Covid-19 ambassadors encouraging people to stay safe and observe all the covid protocols. Reassuring words of hope from the candidates has been top-notch. However, activism has not stopped.
Mr. Bright Ampofo called on the then Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof Obiri-Danso, to specifically discuss the challenges surrounding the deadline for the payment of school fees by students who owe.
Dr Bryte, as he’s popularly called, made some donations to the International Students Association KNUST (ISA KNUST) during the lock down period.
Mr. Bright Emmanuel Ampofo submitted a petition to the Dean of Students to intervene and negotiate for a reduction of hostel fees on behalf of students. He prayed for attention to be paid to the exorbitant fees foreign students have to pay to get accommodation off-campus and help curb the issue. He also addressed the need to stretch out help to the hostels off-campus and come up with an effective online platform to aid students apply for accommodation on the web. Would the good people of KNUST give Mr. Ampofo the opportunity to get served? Time will tell.
Mr. Joseph Rexford Bonney has led some humanitarian projects in his quest to become the next SRC president in KNUST.
B4Bonney launched a campaign which saw him successfully secure some laptops for students to pay in instalments. This was to support the course of the e-learning modules by the university. He has done some donations over the period as well.
On a sad note, Mr. Joseph Rexford Bonney has been rusticated for one year following an allegation of gross misconduct reported by Focus Fm on 17 June 2020. In one of his tweets, he allegedly endorsed H.E. Nana Akuffo Addo for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
“For the Sake of the lots that had no hope of experiencing secondary school education, I give my support to Nana Akufo Addo ~ Bonney” he tweeted.
Is the “It is time to build KNUST” agenda on course or “campaign no atc nsuom?” Your guess is good as mine.
Mr. Samuel Sesah, who is having a second shot at the SRC presidential race is hoping to defy the odds this time. He has led lots of advocacy campaigns this year. He moved beyond the usual petitions to the Dean, and this time visited rent control. The visit saw the discussion of some accommodation issues ranging from exorbitant prices and proper regulation to good conditions.
Under the Made in KNUST initiative, which saw the production of face masks and hand sanitisers by some students, he made donations to ISA KNUST, and some commuters at Tech Junction.
He also made calls for the need to channel the unused association dues to providing stimulus welfare packages for students later in school. He wrote on the need to increase the data allowance given to students to allow personal research and studies while at home.
Master Samuel Sesah and his team spent some time educating drivers, hawkers, and street children at Tech Junction on the proper usage and maintenance of face masks and other preventive measures. Will Mr Samuel Sesah defy the odds this time? Time will tell.
Unlike the others, little or nothing has been heard from the camp of Mr. Selassie Appiah Jake. Will he give the others an electric shock? Let’s how this ends.
The other candidates have been very quiet. Aside the broadcasting of scholarship opportunities, sending well wishes every new month, almost all the candidates in the impending KNUST SRC elections have been dormant.
Earlier, it was reported that the KNUST Obuasi campus would have departmental elections as a part of the impending election. These representatives when elected, will liase with the KNUST Obuasi Campus SRC executives and college executives on the KNUST main campus in seeking the interest of students. The KNUST Obuasi SRC President and General Secretary would join the next KNUST SRC Parliament.
There is an evolving question as to whether the freshmen for the 2020/21 academic year would be allowed to vote in the impending election, for now that does not seem to be a big no, but we look forward to engaging the EC on some of these matters.
The race to leading the student body is still on although election fatigue had set in and is duly taking its course.
We will keep you informed on any developments.
By: Hypercitigh.com | Yayrah Hussey