Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has descended heavily on lecturers of University of Lagos Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for an ‘irresponsible letter’ the group authored.
A statement issued on Thursday, and signed by Dele Ashiru, Chairman of ASUU UNILAG, called on the authorities of the University of Education Winneba (UEW), relevant government agencies and people of Ghana to ensure the safety of the life and property of Professor Augustine Uzoma Nwagbara.
“They should take notice that should anything untoward happen 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,” it threatened.
The letter follows the dismissal of Professor Augustine Uzoma Nwagbara by the University of Education (UEW) for making some inciting comments in a video that has been widely circulated on social media.
Kwesi Pratt, narrowing down to what Dele Ashiru, Chairman of ASUU UNILAG wrote in his letter to the Ghanaian authorities, said: “what he said even shows that his professorship is questionable. A professor who doesn’t respect facts; a whole professor who says the standard of Nigeria education is better than Ghanaian education; how can you calculate that. His history, his logic is questionable; he is so hollow . . . if this is his level how can he be a professor of a university.”
Below is a reproduction of the letter from the University of Lagos Academic Staff.
The Unwarranted and Illegal Detention of Professor Austin Nwagbara by the Ghanaian Police
Our Union ASUU-UNILAG received with anguish, the reports of harassment, intimidation and detention of one of our colleagues Professor Austin Nwagbara who is currently on sabbatical at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, based on a leaked video of a meeting addressed by the erudite Professor.
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…
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 people of Ghana to ensure the safety of Professor Nwagbara’s life and property.
They should take notice that should anything untoward happen 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.