The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Lagos has warned the Ghanaian government of serious consequences should embattled Nigerian professor, Austin Nwagbara gets hurt.
Nwagbara who is lecturer at UNILAG has been on sabbatical leave at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana has been under investigation by the Ghanaian police over allegedly making some allegedly inciting statements.
EduCeleb.com earlier reported that he was recorded in a viral video addressing Nigerians living in Ghana to change the narrative intellectually about how Nigerians were being targets of attacks by citizens of the neighbouring West African nation. The was briefly detained at the police headquarters in Accra, the Ghanaian capital and his leave with the Ghanaian University was also terminated as a result.
A statement issued by the University said, the Nigerian Professor was culpable of gross misconduct following his unguarded comments.
“The University is highly disturbed by the huge embarrassment his unguarded statement has brought to the institution, the Ministry of Education, and indeed, Ghana as a whole,” the statement said.
It said that “after subjecting Prof. Augustine Uzoma Nwagbara to the internal disciplinary process,” it found him “culpable of gross misconduct and has, accordingly dismissed him.”
But ASUU UNILAG Chairman, Dele Ashiru called on the UEW and other relevant government agencies to protect Nwagbara even as he believed that he had the right to express his views.
“It is the opinion of our union that no matter how scathing the views of Professor Nwagbara may be to the authorities of the university at Winneba , the government and people of Ghana , the fact remains that Professor Nwagbara’s views should be viewed within the context of academic freedom guaranteed by Article 3 and 4 of the Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility which states that,” Ashiru, a political science teacher at UNILAG wrote.
“No African intellectual shall in any way be persecuted , harassed or intimidated for reasons only of his or her intellectual work, opinions, gender, nationality or ethnicity.
“Every African intellectual shall enjoy the freedom of movement within his or her country and freedom to travel outside and re – enter the country without let , hindrance or harassment. No administrative or any other action shall directly or indirectly restrict this freedom on account of a person ’ s intellectual opinions , beliefs or activity.”
“In the light of the above, our union condemns in absolute terms the unwarranted harassment, intimidation and illegal detention of the erudite professor . Our union calls on the authorities of the University of Education, Winneba , relevant government agencies and the people of Ghana to ensure the safety of Professor Nwagbara ’ s life and property.
“They should take notice that should anything untoward happens to Professor Nwagbara , the authorities of the University of Winneba and the government of Ghana would be held squarely responsible with its reciprocal consequences for Nigeria – Ghana relations and the Ghanaian community in Nigeria.”