The Kandifo Institute has condemned recent classes among students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
It would be recalled that there was a violent clash between members of University Hall (Katanga) and Unity Hall (Conti) on Sunday June 4, 2021 during the vetting of SRC aspirants.
The students during the chaotic moment destroyed properties including, chairs, glasses and flower pots at the University’s Great Hall that has halted the SRC election related activities.
The exercise has been put on hold indefinitely.
An argument over the eligibility and competency of some aspirants reportedly turned violent between students of the two rival halls which led to the collision between the two halls. The incident resulted in several students from both halls University Hall (Katanga) and Unity Hall (Conti) being sent to the KNUST student’s clinic for the necessary medical attention.
Both Conti and Katanga have been student rivals for decades and many times, this rivalry in most cases leads to chaos and even mishaps. This very incident is no different from those that have happened in the past. Unfortunately, the feuds between these two male halls of the residence resulted again in injuries and this situation is a major concern for school authorities. The most infamous of this Katanga and Conti clash was in 2018 during the school’s attempt to convert the two halls into a mixed one. The students’ riot and subsequent destruction of properties estimated at over GH¢ 1.6 million and also led to the temporary closure of the University. These two rival halls over the years have had clashes many times mostly over bragging rights and contest for supremacy.
The rivalry between these two halls goes way back and it lives on in current generation of hall residents. The rivalry between both halls has been one of the underlying factors that prompted management’s decision to convert the halls.
In 2016, the Executives of the University Hall (Katanga) and the Unity Hall (Conti) signed a memorandum of understanding as a measure to prevent recurrent unhealthy rivalry where some injury cases were recorded in the past years prior to the signing of the memorandum of understanding but unfortunately, they couldn’t stick to the agreement in the MOU.
Conti and Katanga halls are two halls with so much history. They happen to be the best halls in KNUST. Aside being known for their stubbornness and notoriety, these two halls are also known for the production of lots of great people in the Ghanaian society. They are known for their brotherhood, their positive resistance and also ecstasy-filled Friday morale nights.
Kandifo Institute as a youth-oriented think tank believes that shaping the lives of the youth in the right way is a step in the right direction such that, it would help , Ghana gets to where it deserves to be.
It said the clashes at KNUST were unfortunate and uncharacteristic of student leadership.
“We do not build Ghanaian leaders from the foundation in this manner”, Palgrave Boakye Danquah, Executive Director of Kandifo Institute, said.
The Institute has therefore made the following suggestions to ensure peace on campus:
1. University management must reform some laws in the Code of Conduct Booklets and enforce those laws to regulate student behavior.
2. National politicians should not be involved in student politics.
By Sharon Brown-Acquah