Some former and current students of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana have thrown their weight behind Prof. Ransford Gyampo, Head of the Centre for European Studies at the University in the “Sex for Grade” scandal that hit the country some weeks ago.
Prof. Gyampo was captured in a documentary put together by the BBC Africa Eye. The 53 minutes documentary which had about 10 minutes focused on Prof. Gyampo according to the BBC was supposed to have revealed “Sex for Grades” in some West African Universities. However, the job by the BBC has been described by many including the revered Ghanaian professor of Communication, Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, as a ‘journalistic investigation gone rogue.’
Declaring their support, the students in a statement jointly released with the #IStandWithGyampo Movement described the documentary as “bogus and of no basis” saying “the video fails to establish any case of extortion, solicitation, abuse of power, intimidation or coercion.”
The BBC in an interview with Ghanaweb had stated that they only filmed Prof. Gyampo and one other lecturer, Dr. Paul Butakor, because the two were their “target”. The students believe the professor was targeted to be silenced by the BBC because of his power and influence in the Ghanaian political scene. “As indicated in a BBC letter, he was a target, profiled because he is a big fish, ‘powerful and influential’ with dignity and hard earned reputation,” they said.
The BBC’s admission that Prof. Gyampo was their ‘target’, according to the students, feeds into a sinister agenda to run down an enviable reputation without course or purpose.
Professor Gyampo, described as “a dedicated lecturer” by his students, is a philanthropist who believes in community of service. This is manifested in his works in the Central Region where he hails from and elsewhere.
He has contributed immensely to Ghana’s electoral politics and political architecture, serving through NGOs and CSOs including the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), one of the nation’s respected entity on electoral matters. He is an outspoken academic whose views on important national issues are well documented, both in the media and academic papers he has published.
The students in their statement indicated their awareness of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy and how ‘hard it bites even students’ acknowledging that grades at the University of Ghana are to be awarded based on merit and not through any form of pleasantries including sex. “We frown on any act of solicitation on the part of lecturers or students,” they indicated.
They however emphasized that the BBC video, only showed footage of two consenting adults exchanging gestures of intimacy.
Meanwhile, Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor have both been interdicted by the University while investigation is currently ongoing.