Sources at the State House have revealed to The Fatu Network that President Yahya Jammeh was approached by the University of The Gambia students to fund their convocation but the iron fist dictator refused saying he has no money to give them.
The students were left disappointed and shocked because Jammeh doesn’t miss an opportunity to tell anyone who cares to listen that he cares deeply about the UTG and higher education in general. His refusal was therefore seen as a betrayal and confirmation that he is using the University only for political gains. The graduation is taking place Friday, February 5, 2016, and the students are asked to pay D750 ($20) for their gowns. The President himself is expected to grace the occasion.
On a different but related matter, the University itself is at the center of a contentious squabble between the officials and students, who are not happy with the way the affairs of the school are being handled. There is even suspicion among the students that former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kah would be invited to the graduation to be conferred an honorary degree, with some even suggesting there are plans afoot to bring back the controversial former boss. The Vice Chancellor according to them might leave soon because of the ongoing acrimony.
When student sources were approached about rumors of ongoing beef between an official, Pierre Gomez and other officials, they confirmed that the story is true, because according to them, Pierre is a very vocal critic who doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind.
Students are quick to point out that the institution has no money because Jammeh doesn’t value it. Because of this lack of resources and funds, Jenung Manneh, one Mr Tarro, and Mr Kojo are unfortunately always finding themselves in the middle of bad decisions that have to do with appropriations of funds or lack thereof. This; according them, is the source of the confusion and bad blood between students and officials, and between officials themselves because of the suspicion it has engendered.
We will continue to keep a close eye on the university.