NUGS congress called off due to political interference

Confusion has rocked the national delegates congress of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in Kumasi to elect new national leaders as alleged political interference from the two leading political parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC)) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – forced a call-off of the meeting.

The Electoral Commission (EC), which was organising the congress at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi, was presented with two lists of delegates from the two factions contesting the positions.

Consequently the steering committee of NUGS had written to the two rival NUGS presidents, Osman Ayariga and Peter Kodjie, to step aside to allow for new nominees as a way of curing the crisis in the student body.

The SRC president of Jayee University College, Mr Isaac Obeng, who is a member of the steering committee, told the Daily Graphic that they could not allow politicians to divide the union and that the best decision to take was to ask the rival leaders to withdraw from the contest.

He disclosed that immediately the withdrawal of the two was finalised, nominations would open for new contestants and a date fixed for elections.

The NUGS has in the recent past been bogged down by factionalism traced to political manipulations by the NDC and the NPP with two groups of leaders emerging.

At one end is Osman Ayariga, who is said to be linked to the NDC, and Peter Kodjie, alleged to be the choice of the NPP.

Interestingly, two different congresses were organised at which the two were declared NUGS presidents, but there was no recognition from the opposite ends.

The two groups agreed that a national delegates conference should be organised at the KNUST last Saturday and Sunday to elect a common and acceptable NUGS president and other national executive members.

However, the factions refused to agree on a common list of delegates for the polls.

This forced the EC to seek the consent of the local SRC presidents of the accredited institutions to call off the meeting.

Meanwhile, reports were rife, though unconfirmed, that representatives of the two leading political parties were pulling the strings from behind with the view to getting their favourite candidates emerge victorious especially for the position of national president of NUGS.

At a point there was near clashes between members of the two factions and the police in Kumasi were called in to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

Mr Obeng observed that it was a disgrace that a union that was so mush respected in the past and had produced many great personalities should sink so low to allow politicians to dictate to them.

Source: Daily Graphic

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