Desecration of John Mensah Sarbah statue is sacriligious – Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas

Sammy Danso Eghan
Sammy Danso Eghan
4 Min Read

Former head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has condemned the desecration of the John Mensah Sarbah bust that stood in front of the Mensah Sarbah Hall.

He stated this at the launch of  the 60th anniversary launch of Mensah Sarbah Hall, and the unveiling of the new John Mensah Sarbah Statue in University on Friday, 17th February 2022.

He described the act as sacrilegious and a taboo.

“As I’ve said about John Mensah Sarbah, it should be evident that he is not a man whose bust or statue should be desecrated. Such an act is sacrilegious. It is taboo, especially in the academy such as the University of Ghana. Many of us were saddened when we heard, that indeed, some elements on our campus have done exactly that”, he said.

He further urged Ghanaians to cultivate the sense of patriotic loyalty, and love for the country as a recipe for national development.

He was underscoring the legacies and contributions of the late statesman and nationalist, John Mensah Sarbah, to education in Ghana, at the launch of the 60th anniversary of Mensah Sarbah Hall, and the unveiling of a new John Mensah Sarbah statue.

According Dr. Ibn Chambas, John Mensah Sarbah is an inspiration to rethink and re-envision the future of Ghana.

“We must therefore look to Sarbah as an inspiration. As he did, we must engage with indigenous knowledge and wisdom, that provides the central basis of  our identity. We must innovate, rethink, and re-envision futures for ourselves, and our country. Perhaps, most importantly, we must draw deep into and access a  of truer and deeper sense of patriotic loyalty. A love for this country, that will drive us all to act in its best interest, and not the narrow, parochial interest”, he said.

Meanwhile, Former Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, has called for the return of the missing John Mensah Sarbah bust.

She thanked the alumni and the hall management who have supported the resurrection of the John Mensah statue and called out those who have the missing bust to return it.

“My word must be number one, a word of gratitude, to those of us who really worked day and night to see this (new John Mensah Sarbah Statue). I never thought, at times, that we will see this. Hurray!!! Well done!

Secondly, those who have our bust, they must return it!!! Thank you”, she said.

On Friday, 5th August, 2022, a clash ensued between members of Mensah Sarbah Hall, and Commonwealth Hall on University of Ghana, Legon Campus.  The clash, which continued into the early morning hours of Saturday August 6th, 2022, resulted in injuries and damage to some properties on the campus.

A vehicle at the car park of Mensah Sarbah Hall was set ablaze, other vehicles’ windshields smashed, bust of the late John Mensah Sarbah, after whom the hall was named after was removed and taken away, with several other properties getting destroyed.


Story by Sammy Danso Eghan |

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