Today in history: Ghana universities shut in 1974
Today in History, exactly 46 years ago, the Military Government of Ghana – the National Redemption Council closed down the country’s three universities on Feb 11, 1974 after what was described as “unruly demonstrations” by students.
The three universities namely University of Ghana, Legon; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the University of Cape Coast, in the Central Region.
The demonstrations were sparked off after allegations by a student that he had been brutalized by the military at Ho whiles he was traveling back to Accra from Ho.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) at Legon and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) mobilised themselves in one short week and struck in unison, paralyzing the three cities that morning and confronting troops deployed in all three cities.
By early afternoon, the government announced all three universities closed immediately and students were ordered to leave their campuses.
A Government statement said that the students had “refused to acquaint the Government with their grievances”.
The statement went on to say that while the Government had shown its willingness to co-operate fully with the students, and had supported their legitimate aspirations, it could not tolerate “acts of lawlessness and vandalism which are not in tune with the revolutionary spirit of building a new Ghana”.
All students were instructed to leave the campuses and return home. They would only by re-admitted on application, and those who were re-admitted would be expected to sign an undertaking to be “of good behavior”.
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