Once upon a time when he was a student of the University for Development Studies, WA campus, some activities by student leaders which he termed in those days as “nonsensical” and an act of breeding corruption and thievery in the students front caused him to becoming a writer. For instance, his first article as regards students politics was one written on NUGS entitled “GHANAIAN STUDENTS ARE NOT FOOLISH, NUGS IS NOT A CHILD PLAY”.
The young man went ahead to write other strongly debated articles which saw students both in the UDS and Ghana at large discuss day in day out. Some of these articles included but not limited to “APPRAISING AND APPRISING THE NICHOLAS-LAMBERT SRC ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES”, “NKRUMAH JACOB (ZIGGY) CALLS GHS10,000 A MEAGER AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR NO COST INTENSIVE PROJECT DONE”. By trying to clarify to fellow students especially of the University for Development Studies that he was not writing to tarnish the good personal images of student leaders but that, he prided himself an advocate of good governance in the students front, he saw the need to rekindle the spirits of fellow developers that, UDS is not dead and shall not die. It is at this juncture he released the articles “THE UNIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPMENT STUDIES IS NOT A DEAD SCHOOL, SHE IS ALIVE” and “THE GENERALS OF THIS NATION ARE PARADING, IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME (pt. 1&2)”. So many other articles followed both inspiring and strongly attacking corruption and maladministration.
The advocacy and activism spirit were highly opened to public criticism, with clarity made where things seemed unclear. It is on the strengths and massive support gained from fellow students that triggered leading the petition that requested for an indication of major courses of study on certificates of Bachelor of Education students. This fight yielded positive but came with itself a repercussion which sought to put embargo on his university degree certificate. His call to face the UDS Disciplinary Committee was one that sought to cripple his life but it was all good that he had an SRC President who knew and equally understood the deeds of activism and advocacy as concerning fellow students. Reindolf Amankwa is grateful to Honorable Mohammed L.A Jarah (immediate past SRC PRESIDENT, UDS WA), whose timely intervention helped resolve his facing of the disciplinary committee. I am saying these things today because I want my fellow developers to know I have done my best as regards fighting or joining the fight against corruption and maladministration both at the students front and beyond that to facing the school’s administrative machinery. I believe also that, it is in the heart of these struggles that I was awarded the best student writer/activist of the 2016/2017 academic year by the Education Students Association (EDUSA).
It is not hidden that, I have not been the only student who has strived for fellow students welfare. Many joined me in the fight. I may have knowingly or unknowingly mentored so many student writers, advocates and activists we see today in the University for Development Studies (Wa) and possibly beyond borders of UDS WA CAMPUS. If I did inspire anyone, I am grateful to God for such talent which could inspire others without my knowing. Lest I forget to say that, through my lead roles as campaign manager, communication director, campaign team member, advisor and other friendly relations, I have supported so many students and non students alike to win positions which I am proud of. To mention a few;
1. Batanye K. Titus: I played the role of a communication director during his campus days on his aspiration to be UDS WA TESCON General Secretary. Again, after he had left school, I became his campaign manager towards his agenda to becoming the WA Municipal President of the National Service Personnel Association. In all of these two, he won impressively. Subsequently, he equally got appointment to serve as the Public Relations Officer of NASPA-Upper West Region. My doors are forever opened to him. I shall hesitate not a minute to render to him all the support I can, being called upon at anytime.
2. Mohammed L.A Jarah: He’s one of the finest gentlemen I believe to have worked with or worked for. I led his campaign team as communication director and we won tremendously in our second test after we had attempted and lost the first contest. Even in the first lost, we still made history. He was the only level 200 candidate to ever reach the runoff. On any day, anytime and anywhere, I am ever ready to support him to the fullest. I still believe in him knowing who he really is.
3. Naomi Golightly (Naa Lamiley): In the capacity as her communication director, shadow manager and personal confidant, we were able to legitimately “remove” an incumbent Women’s Commissioner from office through the ballot. It was again history made since in the history of the school’s political history, not such a thing has ever happened. It was for the support of this lady I parted ways with a very good friend who was then a very intimate friend of our most strongest contender and probably an incumbent as far as that contest was concerned. I doubt my support for her in any future aspirations she holds.
4. Isaac Bawumia: As a shadow manager, an advisor and very strong advocate of his vision then (if I’m not wrong), he won as Local NUGS President. I became his greatest enemy, where he openly expressed his hatred for me at USAG Congress grounds in Tamale. I am yet to know the cause though I think it is an act birthed by his occupation of office. I only await meeting him in the not too far future of political discourse. We shall define positivism and the spirit of an activist shall be rekindled to speak just as the issue is.
5. Muna: This lady won as SRC Treasurer at a time I acted as her communication director and strategic team leader. Notwithstanding, I became her greatest enemy on her occupation of office, for whatever reason I am yet to be told. Just as Bawumia, I believe the future awaits us.
6. Zacharia (Zack is a Broda): The dreams of this young man nearly got shuttered because he was in a contest where his voters/supporters were equally another candidate’s voters/supporters. The evil was that, they were both contesting same position. “Zack is a Broda” shared supporters with “Nana Kwame” and so none of them could ever have become the NUGS Treasurer of UDS WA if they both contested. As a highly respected activist and advocate in the school by then, I mediated. A resolution was reached and Nana Kwame rescinded his decision to contest. Zack won impressively.
7. Michael Agyei Mensah (Network): I was and still is a member of his management team. I head his communication directorate. He won is duly sworn in as the Local NUGS President of UDS Wa. He is on my list of people I would like to groom to the end of time.
8. Solomon Nartey: He was the Vice President to Mohammed L.A Jarah. I know I did inspire him a lot through counselling and advice. At our second attempt of contest which gave us victory, many peacefully agitated by whispering to Mohammed Jarah to find for himself a new running mate. Their argument was a blind one noting that, Solomon was “slow” in character. That could not have been a very good argument to build. It was good that Mohammed Jarah at the time did not even waste time to consider such a flimsy argument. Not to take praise yet I believe I was a core advocate against this unintelligible debate of changing our running mate. On record, there could not have been a better running mate as Solomon Nartey as far as Team Jarah was concerned.
9. Abubakar Nurideen (Alhaj Bitis): This is my most controversial duty ever played. Though a member of TESCON and a staunch believer in the NPP, I took a step to support a member of the NDC and TEIN for that matter. Not just of ordinary support, I was in charge of his communication as director. I represented him both on radio and in the public space. At a point, some people began tagging me as NDC, calling me hypocritical when I turned to support and defend my party the NPP. They were not at fault. What they lacked was ignorance of the case and without knowledgeable facts. Their continued ignorance stemmed from the fact that they were not ready to listen, hear, ask questions, understand and make their conclusions. For this gentleman Bitis, he won as President of TEIN UDS WA CAMPUS and I must say, my doors are opened to him any day for support. I wish him well in his contest to be WA Constituency NDC Deputy Communication Officer.
There are many examples of people I have supported to win elections by great margins. Nonetheless, it is surprising I lost woefully when I contested to be President of the Education Students Association (EDUSA). That equally notwithstanding, I may not be wrong to say as far as UDS EDUSA is concerned, there cannot be any activist greater than Reindolf Amankwa.
Beyond UDS, my traces of students I have helped pushed into positions such USAG, NUGS, PUSAG, SRC are very clear. Let’s mention Sandra Sarkodee-Adoo of Kings University College (where she won as President of Local NUGS/PUSAG/USAG which was a booking of history), Obeng Daniel (Barrister Danny of USAG), Yiadom Boakye (YB of NUGS CS), Zahid (of NUGS IRS), 2Million (of USAG Treasurer), Ida Stephany (of USAG WOCOM), Ellen Agyeiwaa Adams (of USAG WOCOM), many others I may not even recall. Here again, there are a few I supported openly but who could not win the contest. STEPs of USAG, Kwadwo Baah Karikari of USAG (The Political), The Steward of USAG, are examples. I may not remember some of these ones but I account few loses. Concerning National Service Personnel Association (NASPA), I have had victories and defeats as well. As manager and/or communication director, I recall victories such as Frimpong Annoh Kofi (Financial Biggy, winning as NASPA President of the Asante Akim Central Municipal), Abdullah Hamidu (Alhaj Taakum Dangote, winning as NASPA Vice President AACM), Elizabeth Kyei as Secretary NASPA AACM, Frank Boakye Yiadom (Ayew as Organizing Secretary, NASPA AACM) and then Kwame Owusu Bampoe (Hon. KOB winning as NASPA-ASHANTI PRESIDENT). The victories chalked at NASPA has catapulted me to being appointed concurrently as NASPA-AACM and NASPA-ASHANTI PRO. It is worth celebrating myself as a legend in the students political front. The national political front shall soon hear and see the young man Reindolf Amankwa.
All in all, I can say I have paid my due to student politics both local and national. In as much as I believe to have paid my due, I also acknowledge my flaws. I am not always right and indeed I am not perfect. I have met and is still meeting highly challenging times. Times which gave me thoughts that suggested I stopped writing because it does not pay a penny to write, neither does it pay to effortlessly support others to gaining political office. My disappointment also arises that I could not help some people who I do not only see as friends but brothers unto achieving what they envisioned. Though they won in their contest, yet do I bow in shame that my support was not felt as Reindolf Amankwa did for many others. May I use this opportunity to beg pardon from my own brother Emmanuel Kwabena Domfeh (Sir Noble of USAG PIS), Alswel Annan (SRC President, PUC), Michael Owusu Ansah (President, NASPA Atwima-Nwabiagya), Wilford Asare (Zion of UDS Wa). Brethren, we have greater things ahead and hopefully, we shall work together.
It is unhidden I once began some journeys with particular candidates but left halfway. Yes! Most of them I left because they lost direction and no amount of words put shared with them could redirect their paths. Others, they were not prepared for leadership as I felt they should have. They lost and for those yet going, they are bound to lose. Let me end this self appraisal by also craving the attention of UDS WA campus students that, I could not evaluate Jarah, Lamiley and Bawumia’s SRC, WOCOM and NUGS administrations respectively because I do not have the facts of the case. I wrote their manifestoes but I am not on campus which you all know, so it won’t be possible to attest vividly to their failures or achievements. I will urge and recommend my fellow advocates and activists on campus to do the appraisal and apprising. Lest I conclude without mentioning the effortless fight of comrade Efo Sammy (award winning SRC student advocate of the year 2017/18), Amaglo Isaac (Zuma) and comrade BNS. Your works are respected.
It is worth concluding only by clarifying why I never won any award from the SRC. Indeed, I was called to pick nominations by the then Nicholas Amoah SRC’s Entertainment Committee. However, I opposed the decision because they requested I made a payment of Ghs30.00 as for forms. My instincts as a self branded activist hated that idea, deeming it as an award buying venture, which could have meant an act of aiding and abetting corruption, that canker I strongly fought against. I was again called by the Jarah’s SRC administration, a call I received from my own brother Mohammed L. A Jarah, informing me of an honorary alumni award. Again, I rejected. I further recommended three alumni personalities I believe were worth it. They are; Mr. Prince Aboagye Sakyi, Mr. Robert Kampi Laari (Dream Big Foundation) and Miss. Lydia Alhassan (of Concern Life Foundation). I felt many would deem it as “Award for the Boys” which I was not ready to hear being tagged with. Surprisingly, I was the very person who recommended that such an award as “Alumni Student Personality of the year” be introduced into the SRC Awards Scheme. It was on similar grounds I strongly opposed being appointed PRO of NASPA-ASHANTI. Anyway anyhow I opposed, the President of NASPA-ASHANTI, Kwame Owusu Bampoe, a gentleman I honor so high in esteem could not rescind his decision to making me his PRO. Maybe, his unrepentant urge was kindled by the endorsement of my candidature by the Upper West Regional NSS Director after I had given a speech he termed as full of maturity, confidence, wisdom and intellect. I finally end by opening my self up to calls to join teams of candidates who do not only have the vision to lead but have a reason to lead. A reason full of ideas of national development and not of parochial benefits. Finally, finally, I regard this opportunity worth applauding the efforts of the KNUST STUDENTS ACTIVISTS in their quest to shaping and reshaping the students front, keenly as regards their school. I recommend that, every tertiary educational set up in Ghana and Africa learns from that, also creating such students fraternity as an Activist Society. I also acknowledge the work of African Teachers Network (an inter country network of professional teachers in Africa) and Responsive Education Movement (an association of educationists whose core is to positively reshape education in Africa). I encourage that we stay focused on our vision and mission. Africa shall be great.
Long Live Ghanaian Student Activists!
Long Live Ghana!!
Long Live Pan-Africanism!!!
By: Reindolf Amankwa
About the writer:
Reindolf Amankwa is a registered writer at Daily News/Gh. He is also the Executive Director of Nnsoroma Publications. Contact details: 0544728631/0204081217