Resignation Demand! -Or Restoring Sanity At UL Compete

By Mafanta Kromah &  Juliana Noah Johnson

Students of the University of Liberia have insisted on the immediate resignation of Dr. Ophelia Weeks, President of the university.

Martin Kollie, Secretary General of the Student Unification Party noted that Dr. Weeks’ resignation demand is non-negotiable.

The action of conscious students which started last Friday seems to be a demonstration of all collective resolve to put an end to what the students said is a dictatorial and non-consultative leadership of Dr. Weeks at the state-run university.

Kollie said over 20,000 students have expressed a ‘vote of no confidence’ in Dr. Weeks’ ability to lead and make any difference, stressing, “ We call on the people’s

President, His Excellency George Manneh Weah to intervene without further delay.”

The SG of UP indicated that the uncompromising demands of the students  are the need for an unconditional reopening of registration for 8,000 students who are yet to register and the immediate resignation of Dr. Weeks as President of the university.

He maintained that  SUP along with thousands of conscious students will

ensure this unapologetic stance in pursuit of a new era that offers hope through

quality education.

According to him, until these demands are met also all 20,000 students should consistently assemble on both campuses of the university every day until their demands are addressed.

Kollie said SUP expresses dissatisfaction over the brutal action of some police

officers who allegedly chose to use lethal force against armless, harmless and peaceful students during the second day of their protest.

“The illegal and anti-student invasion of the Capitol Hill Campus by police officers

re-echoes the dark days of Taylor and Doe. We encourage President Weah to

intervene before this situation degenerates into something else. The militants of SUP will henceforth resist any further invasion(s) by police officers,” he added.

Kollie further noted: “Registration process must unconditionally reopen for all 8,000 of their colleagues who are yet to register and Dr. Weeks must resign without further delay.”

At the same time, the Student Integration Movement (SIM) is also in collaboration

with the SUP, demanding the resignation of the president and the reopening of

registration for colleagues that are yet to register.

Statement released by SIM described the leadership of Dr. Weeks as despotism and

wickedness and demanded it must come to an end.

Speaking with Losene Talawally, member of  SIM,  he noted that the unbending quest for quality tertiary education at the University of Liberia has always been a major public outcry by students and sympathizers in the public sphere.

“Struggling and poverty-stricken students at the University of Liberia have

been vehemently denied by these evil driven individuals who have strangulated us

from our fundamental right, that is education as enshrined in Article 6 of the April

6, 1986 Constitution,” Talawally indicated.

He continued: “Far too long, we have demonstrated consistent clarion calls and

peaceful agitations signaling the immediate attention of the administration to see

genuine reason to open the controversial registration process but these pathetic calls have fallen on deaf ears which we are out here to showcase to President

George Weah to speedily intervene; if he really means well for this country.”

Student Talawally called on his fellow students that it was time they engage national government to quickly intervene, adding, “We are not going back to the infamous August 1984 where peaceful students were murdered by national government. Weeks must be assured today that her aunty Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is no longer the president of Liberia, neither the head of the weeks and weeks Incorporated. So, we call on this CDC-led government for her immediate role in solving this controversial registration process.”

Talawally further noted: “Sons and daughters of the slums, conscious men and women, militants of this hallowed walls of the University of Liberia will not sit meekly to witness this tragedy befall on us. In the cause of the masses, the struggle must end. As President Weah would often say, behold, we say bye to the Weeks and Weeks Incorporated.”

However, while there are many in favor of the protest, there are others that are

against the idea of protesting on the streets of the capital that resulted to traffic blocks for other students in other universities and private citizens.

Speaking with Rose Mulbah, student of the UL, she noted that there are many ways the protesters can handle the issues without going on the streets to infringe on the rights of other citizens.

“I wish they know that they can work this out without resulting into violence, they

should know that violence is not the way forward and we as Liberians and students

are not willing to go back to the past,” she stressed.

Furthermore, Barbara Williams, also a student of the UL, added that the action of their colleagues has been a stigma on their colleagues in other universities.

“Our fellow students that are out there protesting should also know that they are

infringing on the rights of other students in the university. We should know

that we will always not be right in some of our actions and this is one that is wrong,” she said.

“I support Dr. Weeks, the lady is trying her best to put in system but we are not

permitting her to do her work, for any institution to get better, there should be some sacrifices made and we as students need to accept that for the good of the

institution,” she explained

At the same time, based on a communication from President  Weah office,   several consultations with stakeholders, including the University Board of Trustee,  Dr.  Weeks, along with some  senior faculty staff planned a  dialogue conference with students on Monday, February 5 at the Fendall Main Campus which ended abruptly , having received information that students were demonstrating at Capitol Hill UL campus, with pronouncement that registration has been extended by one month beginning Wednesday,  , February  7, 2018

There have been calls coming from individuals who are greatly concerned about what is happening from  Russia, Germany and  America, adding that this university was established to provide great leaders that will compete with other scholars, around the world

Dr Weeks apologized to students that were eagerly seated to asked several questions including the press, saying, ‘ I have to leave to attend meeting with stakeholders in making sure we restore sanity as we have just been informed that the Speaker car was also stormed by the students,  students haven’t allowed themselves to be disciplined.”

Classes at the Fendell UL campus couldn’t hold as hundreds of students including faculty staff were seeing rushing out of the campus for fear that the students were gathering to do same at there.

During her remarks, Dr. Weeks disclosed that these demonstrations by students have caused several damages at the UL Capitol Hill campus, leading some electrical materials damaged, including a change in the 2018 academic calendar of event.

Some of the students speaking with the In Profile said their action was beyond registration extension, insisting that they want Dr. Weeks to leave as her working relationship with some faculty staff and students is not cordial.




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