A strong wave of protests has erupted in the Upper East region against an alleged decision to divert the headquarters of the Technical University Administrators Association of Ghana (TUAAG) from the Bolgatanga Polytechnic to the Accra Technical University.
Pouring out their grief Wednesday at a news conference, newly elected national executives of the association and members of the Bolgatanga Chapter of the union, blamed the outgoing national executives based in Tamale, the Northern regional capital, for what some have called a blatant breach of order and others a total mess.
The association, known in the past as the Polytechnic Administrators Association of Ghana (PAAG), does not have a fixed headquarters or seat where its affairs are managed. The seat rotates. Every 3 years, elections are conducted among members of the association at a polytechnic.
The winners of that election become the national executives of the entire association and their campus the seat or headquarters of the whole union. Their mandate lasts 36 months. At the end of their tenure, the next polytechnic in the queue takes its turn to elect new executives in an exercise supervised by the outgoing national executives. The new national executives take up responsibility as host of the seat and will also hand over to another polytechnic after 3 years. It has always revolved in that order since the inception of the PNDC Law 321 that established the country’s 10 polytechnics in 1992.
But, in what the baffled-looking conveners of the press conference say is alien to the constitution of the association, an electoral exercise, supervised by the outgoing national executives and unanimously declared “free and fair” by accredited observers, saw new national executives elected at the Bolgatanga Polytechnic in March, this year, but the outgoing national executives in Tamale, whose term ended in April, this year, reportedly declined to hand over office.
Subsequent demands for information about handover arrangements, according to the new national executives, were met with stiff apathy from the outgoing national executives. And in a more shocking twist of events, the outgoing national executives, backed by some local chairpersons of the association, voted last week for the headquarters to be taken away from the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, saying it lacked the logistics required to “take up the mantle” and that it had not been converted to a technical university.