The practice of succuming some Ghanaian student leaders into a mere partizan politics against their members is rare in Ghana nowadays.
In the recent times, it appears that, most student leaders no longer make neutral decisions devoid of political interferences based on existing records.
A critical example is the latest rots uncovered in the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) following a presor staged by the National President of NUGS Mr. Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel by endorsing government’s 2022 budget statement and Economic Policy.
Earlier today, Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel with a group of persons, some of who are his colleague leaders released a press statement captioned “2022 Budget Addresses Our Concerns; Parliament’s Should Approve It”
The press statement has endorsed certain aspects of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by Ken Ofori-Atta to Parliament of Ghana on Wednesday, 17th November, 2021.
In Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel’s statement, he has supported the removal of road tolls, introduction of E-levy tax, YouStart initiative, investment of 10 billion into youth enterpreneurship, establishment of university endowment as part of YouStart, infrastructure and championing skills development and called for payment of outstanding six months arrears of Teacher Trainees Allowances.
Read the NUGS President’s press statement below.
But reacting to the NUGS President’s pressor, a counter statement was issued by the 54th NUGS National Secretary Mr. Julius Kwame Anthony, TTAG National President Mr. Abdul Manan Dimbie and Ewoenam Amenu Yakor Secretary for Union Development against the former.
According to them, this statement comes to bring clarity to issues pertaining to the above stated subject and importantly to emphasize that the NUGS President acted on his own accord with a cohort of friends aligning to his interests on the subject. Decisions of the National Executive Committee of NUGS are taken at a formal meeting summoned for same by the General Secretary in consultation with the President.
They explained that, the supposed decision to endorse the government’s budget, especially the E-Levy popularly known as MOMO TAX was never taken at any NEC meeting of NUGS. The said decision was reached after the President took a cohort of his sycophants to meet the finance minister. They reached the decision to hold the Press Conference at the finance Ministry minutes after the meeting. The meeting exempted the General Secretary and all other National Executive officers of NUGS except the NUGS President and the Secretary for Finance.
The statement added that, “the President, knowing this decision to endorse the Momo Tax does not reflect the opinion of students and majority of their representatives, refused to follow the Constitutional Provisions for a NEC Meeting which requires that a quorum of NEC must be constituted by “1. the National President, 2. the General
Secretary and 3. not less than 9 other members”, according to article 15c of the NUGS Constitution.”
“The parochial and self-serving decision of the NUGS President cannot even qualify for an emergency NEC Decision because the constitution provides under article 15d that, An emergency meeting of NEC
may be called; 1. By the National President 2. At the request of at least 50% of the
members of the NEC. Upon request by NEC members, the National General Secretary shall convene the NEC meeting within 7 days upon receipt of the notice provided such a request is made in writing signed by requesting members stating the agenda and date.” They explained.
“The NUGS President and his cohorts reached the decision to give open endorsement to the Momo Tax minutes
after meeting the Finance Minister and the decision was reached at the Ministry before they dispersed. That cannot be the 7 days emergency notice of NEC prescribed by the constitution since they met the Minister on Wednesday 24th November and held the Presser the next day, Thursday 25th November 2021.”
According to them, this gives some credence to the public opinion that the president and his anointed may be under the duress of the minister to create a facade that the Student Union supports the Momo Tax and wants parliament to approve it.
“It must be clear that NEC comprises of more than the Bloc Heads, the Bloc Heads according to the constitution are just one element in the whole. Judging from the Constitution, according to article 15 b , the
COMPOSITION OF NEC i.e NEC shall comprise the following: 1. The National President 2. The General Secretary 3. The Secretary for Education 4. The Secretary for Finance 5. The Secretary for Women’s Development. 6. The Five Education Officers appointed under 16c,7.
Bloc Presidents 8. President of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) of Ghana who shall have no voting right. 9. International Students’ Officer who shall have no voting right. 10. The Administrative Secretary who shall have no voting rights.”
“It will interest all to know that, only the President, Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel, the Secretary for Finance and 4 Bloc Heads were in the meeting with the Finance Minister and decided amongst themselves at the Finance Ministry minutes after the meeting. Out of 9 elected National Executive Officers, only two (the President and the Financial Secretary participated in the process in addition to the four selected Bloc Heads).”
“Let it be on record that even TTAG President only involved because he was told the presser was to cover teacher trainer allowances and he therefore dissociates himself from any E-Levy Endorsement. TTAG as a student bloc therefore dissociates from same.”
“We denounce this attempt to reduce the Student Front to an extension of a government propaganda outlet and we encourage all student representatives of goodwill to denounce this attempt to use their representatives to impose a burdensome tax on them. Students use mobile money transactions almost on a
daily basis and this tax only puts so much burden on them. No reasonable and well meaning NUGS President who cares about the interest of his constituents will throw support for such a thing.”
“The will of the people shall continue to be the will of the people. Even if anyone creates a facade that students support the MOMO TAX, the reality is they DO NOT. They will never join any self seeking group
of people in canvassing support for a killer tax on themselves.”
“The Media, the student body and all well-meaning Ghanaians are at liberty to give the NUGS President and all individuals pointed out in this statement a right of reply in the presence of the issuers of this statement and we will prove every alphabet in the statement. A Press Conference will follow soon.”
“Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel has demonstrated treachery the likes of which has never been seen before in student leadership and posterity shall surely hold him to account. Let it be on record that Yiadom Boakye Emmanuel ignored all the parts of the budget which go to the detriment of Students such as, the 15%
increase in fees and charges, increase in residential fees across all universities, budget allocation for only 800 new entrants into the Ghana School of Law, the porous Legal Profession’s Bill among others to push a MOMO TAX onto the students. This is treachery the likes of which have never been seen before and we will resist it”.
Read the counter statement below.