The Dean of Faculty of BioSciences at the University of Development Studies (UDS) says it is time for the country to consider renaming the institution after the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Midday News Friday, Professor Elliot Alhassan said, that is one way Ghana can keep the name and memory of Ghana’s longest-serving head of state alive.
He stated that although Rawlings may have not liked the idea of being named after a school when he was alive, he gave the people in the North easy access to tertiary education and he needs to be remembered for it.
“Former President Rawlings as we all know was the one who established UDS. As at that time Northern Ghana had no tertiary institution and access to tertiary education in the North was what most people wanted.”
Prof Alhassan told the host, Bernice Abu-Baidoo Lansah, that Northern Ghana will always appreciate and praise Rawlings for “this singular honour done them.”
Former President Rawlings, who was the head of state and later President, donated his prize money of $50,000 he received from the World Hunger Award in 1993 for books for the university.
He was denied the award by the same institution in 2005, after its Council Chairman then, Mr D.C Gyimah wrote a letter cancelling the special congregation ceremony at the last minute citing “security reasons”.
There have been suggestions that University for Development Studies (UDS) to go beyond conferring a doctorate degree on Mr Rawlings by naming the institution after him.
This was after UDS in October 2013 conferred the honour on the former Ghanaian leader for contribution towards the establishment and growth of the university.
In addition to the honorary doctorate degree, a bronze bust of Mr Rawlings was erected on one of the campuses of the university to immortalise his role in the establishment of the institution.
JJ Rawlings passed away on Thursday, November 12 at 10 am.
The 73-year-old is said to have died after he contracted Covid-19 and was rushed to the intensive care unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The founder of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was last seen in public on October 19, during the final funeral rites leading to the burial of his mother, Victoria Agbotui.