Hordes of students of the University of Ghana, Legon, mostly from the Commonwealth Hall, yesterday took to the streets to protest about multiple issues on campus.
Chief among the issues raised was what they described as skyrocketing school fees, accommodation lapses, late disbursement of student loans, among others.
They initially planned to start the demonstration from the Legon campus, through Shiashi to the 37Military Hospital and then to National Theatre area, and end at the Ministry of Education, but the police managed to prevent them with a court order, stating that it was an ‘international’ route and was set to cause an inconvenience to the public.
Reports have it that early in the morning, a team of policemen were dispatched to the university to either ensure the strict compliance of the court order or foil any insurgence by the students who were bent on proceeding on the demonstration.
They were said to have positioned themselves at strategic positions, with a number of water cannons.
The students therefore decided to embark on an internal protest by walking through the streets and pavements of the university clad in red clothes, arm and head bands amidst chanting of war songs since the court order barred them from using the planned route for the demonstration.
The protesting students wielded placards, some of which read ‘terrorism in education’, ‘Aryetey conditions suffocate students’, ‘single spine school fees’ and ‘Aryetey remember Gaddafi now’.
This somehow disrupted academic work on campus since some of them went to a couple of the lecture halls to disrupt lectures with chanting and singing.
Asked why they took their action to the lecture halls, one of the student leaders, Elkinton Andrews, said “that’s the essence because we are in the ninth week and students loans have not been disbursed,” asking rhetorically, “in Christ’s name what do you expect students to live on?”
“Now level 100’s are frustrated; they have paid for accommodation but no accommodation is available. For us nothing matters more than these issues and if these issues would not be addressed, we will continue to disrupt lectures, boycott exams, boycott lectures until our issues have been addressed”, were his exact comments.