Regional

Govt Will Reclaim All Stolen Lands – Says Akufo-Addo

PRESIDENT AKUFO-Addo has cautioned all encroachers of lands belonging to public universities to vacate the lands, asserting that “the government is now prepared to take the necessary steps to reclaim such lands soon.”

Speaking at the 60th anniversary celebration of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) yesterday, the President described the development as a “vexed issue.”

“I am informed that almost one third of the university’s legally acquired lands have been lost to encroachers. This is most unfortunate and unacceptable. I am saddened by this state of affairs, especially because it is happening in Cape Coast of all places, the cradle of Ghana’s education, the proverbial ‘Athens of Africa’,” he stated.

He called on Nananom and all stakeholders to ensure a complete cessation of these unfortunate activities.

“We must begin to see the university not only as a national asset and an asset for the Central Region but, most importantly, also as an asset to the people of Cape Coast, in particular,” he stressed.

The anniversary was held on the theme: “60 Years of Quality Higher Education: Expanding the Frontiers.”

He continued, “My charge to the university is to remain pure and unadulterated in the provision of quality academic and intellectual discourse, and in finding solutions to complex and far-reaching problems across borders and disciplines, for there are fewer places better suited to do this than in universities such as UCC.”

President Akufo-Addo said he wanted to continue to hear that UCC products are making a positive impact, and building a strong and distinctive work force in Ghana, Africa and across the world.

He encouraged all stakeholders to put their shoulders to the wheel for more laurels, adding that “the university and its stakeholders deserve the warmest congratulations for a job well done. Government and the good people of Ghana share in your moment of joy.”

“In fact, I was to have begun a three-day tour of the Eastern Region today, but, if the first Ghanaian University to confer on me the honour of an Honorary Doctorate Degree invites me to be a part of such an auspicious occasion, I have no choice, but to postpone all other events and be present, and I am glad I did,” President Akufo-Addo noted.

He said he was very proud of his association with UCC, which has recently been adjudged as the best university in Ghana, best in West Africa and 4th in Africa in the 2023 Times Higher Education Rankings.

“It appears that this good luck and success of UCC has rubbed off on me somehow, when, earlier this month, I was honoured by one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, the ancient, 13th century University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, in France, with the 4th of the Honorary Doctorate Degrees that have been conferred on me.

“From humble beginnings, the achievements of this university have been nothing short of remarkable. The university’s evolution is reflected in its expanding focus, in its response to the changing societal needs, and in its infrastructural development. With support from successive governments, the university has, indeed, seen considerable growth in faculty, student enrolment and infrastructure,” he posited.

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