Gandhi Statue Debate Pulling down statue could sever ties with India

Lecturers at the University of Ghana are demanding a statue of "racist" Gandhi be pulled down because they do not believe Gandhi is worth celebrating and emulating.

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Ghana’s former High Commissioner to India, Professor Mike Ocquaye, has said that a demolition of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the University of Ghana could break the diplomatic ties between Ghana and India.

Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM Prof Ocquaye said the demand for the demolition is unnecessary. 

“It will be most unnecessary, most uncalled for and not in the supreme interest of Ghanaians and we must know what serves our interest best. Some people in India wanted diplomatic relations to be broken in Ghana over the way we sometime back spited them, but caution prevailed and they kept their cool to show that they understand diplomacy and the ups and downs of international relations and today the relationship is a bit better and we look forward to it being better still.”

Some senior lecturers at the University of Ghana are demanding a statue of "racist" Gandhi be pulled down.

Professor of African and Gender Studies at the University of Ghana, Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, and Dr Ọbádélé Kambon, a research fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the Ghana Journal of Linguistics wrote the petition.

READ ALSO: Concerns of lecturers will be considered

The online petition is addressed to the members of the University of Ghana Council and the chairman Kwamena Ahwoi.

The statue was erected on June 14 this year at the recreational quadrangle; it was donated by India's president Pranab Mukherjee when he visited the campus.

Since then there has been agitation from many students, alumni and Ghanaians over the statue being on campus.

READ ALSO: Will Gandhi fall in Accra?

Meanwhile, the University of Ghana has indicated that it will consider the petition if they present it to the University of Ghana Council.

Director of Public Affairs at the University, Mrs Stella Amoa, in an interview with explained that the university is an academic community that encourages intellectual debates.

“I’m sure when it gets to the University Council, they would look at it in line with the arguments that they would put forward and then they would decide what to do.”

But Prof Ocquaye insists the petitioners and their supporters must be tolerant of different views since it is what academia stands for.

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