Eric Kwakye Darfour, the Eastern Regional Minister, has rubbished the opposition National Democratic Congress’ propaganda that, the current administration is relocating the Eastern University campus from Somanya to Bunso.
According to the Regional Minister, the University is an establishment of the law and the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Act (2015), Act 898 passed by the Parliament of Ghana has not been changed to warrant the hullabaloo surrounding the establishment.
He noted that the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) Act 989 which sites the main campus at Somanya also states that the University will have Campuses at Donkorkrom and any other campuses at other parts of the Eastern Region.
Eric Darfour made these known when he a working visit to the site to ascertain the progress of work and to clarify the falsities surrounding the project.
He stated that the Bunso Campus has become apparent due to the fact that the Korean EXIM Bank which is providing the $90million funding for the UESD satellite campus opted for Bunso which already has a cocoa college and therefore has some level of infrastructure ahead of Donkorkrom.
The minister called for calm and urged the people to have faith in the government, adding that, leadership is voted for to take decisions on behalf of the people and at every point in time, a decision must be taken for the good of the people.
‘Eastern Region has several towns and villages; the previous government decided to site the main campus at Somanya, that was leadership decision, the current government has decided to site a satellite campus at Bunso, that is also a leadership decision and that is what leadership is about,” he said.
“I have to come with the media to enable them see for themselves the current developments. People have made it look like there is nothing at all happening here. Some people have not even come here before and yet write things to make it look like the foundation has even not been laid, meanwhile, as we are all witnesses, work is ongoing,’ the regional minister added.
A team from Contracta, the project contractor, led by Rafael Bruno Ferriera and Avanguard, a Ghanaian consultancy firm, taking care of the project, led by Stephen Yankah, took the minister round to inspect development of work on the project.
Mr Bruno explained that five buildings are being raised to house laboratory, faculty offices, multipurpose hall, lecture hall and hostels.
According to him, they are also building three houses for the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor and some other key staff.
He stated that “so far, about 400 people have been employed for the project of which 90% are Ghanaians adding that work began in January 2018 and is 15% complete hoping to finish and handover to government by January 2020”.
A couple of weeks ago, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) incited a group of party activists calling itself ‘United Krobo Foundation’ in the Krobo area to use all possible means to resist what it calls the attempt by the government to relocate the Main Campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development to Bunso.
The party activists hit the streets of Somanya with a protest. Dressed in red, the members carried numerous placards bearing inscriptions like “President rescind your decision”, “Go back to your drawing board,” “Krobo deserves the main campus”, among other inscriptions.
In an attempt to spark a non-existent tribal conflict between Krobos and Akyems, the NDC Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, late last year, blatantly lied to the whole world that the President has relocated the main campus of the school from Somanya to Bunso.
But the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempreh at recent Meet the Press forum exposed the NDC propaganda surrounding the University.
He said, “The contract has not changed and will not change and as we go to Somanya, the contract that ex-president Mahama’s government signed is what is being affected.”
The construction of the University was part of the Mahama administration’s vision to ensure each region in the country had a public university.
The minister who regretted what he called misinformation being fed the public in respect of the siting of the project said the contract for the construction of the facility was signed by the predecessor government and the university inaugurated three days before the handing over of power to the new government.
While maintaining that the current government has not taken a single building outside Somanya, he said the loan agreement bordering on the contract can be verified.
“The Government of Ghana has not taken a single building outside Somanya and the contractors are in Ghana. The loan agreement can be made available and the issues were raised in Parliament where the Ministry submitted that contract where they (minority) realized that not even a dot is being changed in the contract,” he said.
He explained that another loan facility being offered by the South-Korean government will facilitate the construction of the Bunso project.