Ghana has decided to “relocate” Mahatma Gandhi’s statue installed at a university in Accra to a “safer place” after a group of lecturers and students launched a petition alleging he was “racist”.
“Decision has been taken by the Ghanian Foreign Ministry that instead of locating it (statue) in the university, where youth is obviously more excitable…move it to a more safer place,” Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi.
“(Ghana’s) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has been following with deep concern the acrimony generated by the recent campaign by a group of lecturers and students of the University of Ghana” for the removal of Gandhi’s statue on grounds of his alleged past racist comments, a Ghanian Foreign Ministry statement said on Wednesday.
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The Gandhi statue at the university was unveiled by President Pranab Mukherjee during his state visit to Ghana in June this year.
“It is worthy to note that the statue of Mahatma Gandhi was erected on the University of Ghana campus with the consent of the University authorities. The University was not compelled by government to accept the statue,” the statement said.
The Ghanian statement said in a global interconnected world where conversations that take place on social media are shared in real time, there is the potential to create disaffection not only at the level of government relations, but also between people not only in Ghana but all over the world.
“The government would, therefore want to relocate the statue from the University of Ghana to ensure its safety and to avoid the controversy on the Legon Campus being a distraction of our strong ties of friendship that has existed over the years,” it said.