General News of Friday, 28 October 2016
Probe IGP's ‘Fake’ doctorate degree - Academics
Two Ghanaian academics have waded into the controversy surrounding what they call the ‘questionable’ doctoral degrees of the disqualified All People’s Congress (APC) flag bearer, Hassan Ayariga.
They are also insisting that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service cannot gloss over a similar ‘fake’ doctorate degree allegedly conferred on the Inspector General of Police John Kudalor, if the police have to investigate Hassan Ayariga who has been reported by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The two dons, Prosper Yao Tsikata, PhD (Assistant Professor of Communication) and A. Kobla Dotse, PhD (Director, Chemical Research & Development) are saying that, looking at the circumstances surrounding the issue, the CID might not even have the capacity to investigate Hassan Ayariga.
A statement they jointly issued last week following publication about Ayariga’s certificate stated, “The only lingering doubts in our minds about the CID expediting action on this case are in multiple folds. First, does the investigative arm of the Ghana Police Service have the capacity to investigate this issue effectively? This naturally leads to the second question. Even if they do, would the same proceedings apply to its head, the IGP (Dr) John Kudalor?”
John Kudalor reportedly travelled to the United States to pick the degree from US-based Dayspring Christian University, a school not recognized by Ghana’s National Accreditation Board (NAB).
He has since been using the title, having organized a thanksgiving service for it.
The Dayspring Christian University is one of four universities listed by NAB as not meeting the Board’s accreditation criteria.
The Accreditation Board subsequently warned the public against such universities after they have conferred honorary degrees on some high-ranking individuals in the country.
According to Messrs Prosper Yao Tsikata and A. Kobla Dotse, the time has come for the Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, to act swiftly and “not sit back and watch the education system get infiltrated with these fake degree holders, especially those who are using the fake degrees to teach and get tenure and promotions as professors in our universities.”
They said the NAB declared some institutions as unaccredited and unworthy to issue higher degrees such as PhDs, but a state-owned newspaper as well as prominent private radio stations celebrated such individuals and their questionable awards saying, “What these institutions and their managers fail to realize is the fact that the negative impacts these acts have on our reward and honour systems can be far-reaching.”
Digging into Hassan Ayariga’s ‘fake’ degrees, the dons said, “In our appraisals of materials on Ghanaians who flaunt questionable doctoral degrees, we came upon the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, located in Spain. From available artifacts, (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga received a doctorate degree (honoris causa) from this university. He also received a PhD from the Atlantic International University in Hawaii.”
According to them, Hassan Ayariga insisted in radio and TV interviews that he must be addressed a doctor, adding, “Since honorary doctorate holders are not normally entitled to be referenced as such in public communication, we turned our attention to his so-called earned PhD from the Atlantic International University.
“Our view was that it must be the institution that gave him the gravitas to insist on being addressed a doctor. However, this is where the problem is. The NAB declares the Atlantic International University unaccredited to confer doctoral degrees in Ghana. Rightly so, the Atlantic International University is a diploma mill.”
“Now, for (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga to turn round to say that his PhD in Political Science was conferred on him by the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, we can only think of the inconsistency of his own information, first, before delving into issues of accreditation, course content, and the recognition he so badly needs to project himself politically.”
The dons said that while it was a step in the right direction that the EC had referred the case to the CID, those canvassing for the reinstatement of disqualified presidential candidates, including Hassan Ayariga, “should not confuse (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga’s case with the others who might have committed genuine errors in their application forms, a situation that can easily be rectified by the courts.”
They asked the agitators to “steer clear of the Hassan Ayariga case and allow the investigative wing of the Ghana Police Service to do its job.”
“With regard to the person (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga, it is becoming clear that the man must be living in his own reality, a reality constructed on a delusion of grandeur—a psychological state in which the victim entertains false beliefs that he or she possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence and wealth,” admitting that “this has only been possible because he has been aided by media outlets that either lack the capacity to research these issues before publication or carry out publications that seek to celebrate what is questionable for economic gains.
“As we await the determination of the CID, we will also urge the CID to contact the NAB or contact us if they need help in unravelling some of the hidden aspects of the issues of accreditation and the flaunting of questionable degrees. We believe that the nature of the case, especially being election-related requiring expeditious investigation and determination, will set the stage for the police to begin to look into these issues of fraud. Our investigative report has details about the various issues in it.”
Meanwhile, Hassan Ayariga has threatened to sue the EC over the issue. The commission referred his case to the CID for investigation, claiming that his educational certificate appears to be fake.