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Asogli chiefs kick against move to rename Ho Technical University after Dr Amu

A council of chiefs, queens, elders and the youth from Asogli, clad in red apparels, today took part in a protest march on the streets of Ho to re-affirm their stance against the renaming of the Ho Technical University (HTU) after the late Dr Ephraim Amu, the renowned musician.

Led by the Awafiaga (War Lord) of Asogli, Togbe Adzie Lakle Howusu XII; Dufia of Ho-Ahoe, Togbe Kasa III, and Dufia of Ho-Heve, Togbe Anikpi III, they marched from the Asogli Palace in Ho-Bankoe, in defiance of the scorching sun, to the Volta Regional Coordinating Council where their petition was received by the Chief Director, Augustus Awity.

Togbe Adzie Lakle Howusu XII (right), Awafiaga of Asogli, presenting the petition to Augustus Awity, Chief Director of Volta Regional Coordinating Council

Mr Awity informed the chiefs the Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa was away on an official duty, and gave an assurance that he would present the petition to him as soon as returned later in the day.

They chiefs later continued their procession to the Ho Municipal Assembly to present a copy of the petition to the Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Divine Bosson, and then to HTU to present a copy to the authorities of the university.

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Togbe Adzie Lakle Howusu XII (front, middle), Awafiaga of Asogli, flanked by other chiefs, leading the protest march

News conference
At a news conference which preceded the protest march, Togbe Howusu said the decision to name HTU was arrived at without any consultation with the chiefs and people of Ho, who played a crucial role in the establishment of the institution.

“The Asogli State Council views the decision of the government and the Governing Council of the university to rename HTU without due consultation with the major stakeholders, including the Asogli State Council, the custodians of the land, as unfortunate, misplaced and disrespectful,” he said.

Togbe Howusu, who is Divisional Chief of Ho-Dome, maintained that HTU was an esteemed institution in the public domain, holds a special pride of place in the Volta Region, particularly for the people of the Asogli State, on whose land the university was situated.

For that matter, he said, the people of Asogli had a strong attachment to HTU, which was steadily gaining special recognition nationally and internationally.

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“It is imperative that this progress and reputation remain undisturbed, as frequent changes in the university’s name can lead to confusion among stakeholders, including students, alumni, and the general public, regarding its identity and mission,” Togbe Howusu added.

He explained that the main concern of the Asogli Chiefs was that the proposed new name for HTU did not align with the university in any way.

The Awafiaga maintained that names carried significant meanings and could impact institutions positively and negatively, insisting the name of a university was closely tied to its history, identity, values or mission.

No relevance to HTU’s mission
He said although the Chiefs of Asogli recognised the achievements of the late Dr Amu and his laudable contributions to music and culture, those contributions had limited relevance to the academic programmes and mission of HTU.

The Asogli State Council, Togbe Howusu said, first objected to the attempt to rename HTU of the late Dr Amu in February 2018, calling on the regional minister later to make their stance clear to him.

“The Asogli State Council wishes to remind the authorities of HTU that major decisions affecting the university should be made in consultation with the relevant stakeholders to avoid conflict and unnecessary confrontation.

“We do not understand the motive behind the rush to rename HTU and cannot see any serious justification for such a move other than for political expediency,” he told the conference.

Togbe Howusu made it clear that the Asogli chiefs were totally opposed to the attempt to rename HTU, contending the name should remain Ho Technical University.

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