The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter, has warned of dire consequences if the life and properties of sacked Nigerian lecturer of the University of Education-Winneba, Professor Austin Nwagbara comes in harm’s way.
ASUU said the government of Ghana will have questions to answer if anything should happen to their former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nwagbara.
KanyiDaily had reported that Prof. Nwagbara was dismissed by the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana over ‘inciteful comments’ he made in a video that has since gone viral.
But, in a statement on Thursday, Dr. Dele Ashiru, ASUU, Unilag branch faulted the decision of the University Council saying it runs contrary to academic freedom guaranteed by the Kampala Declaration. Ashiru said:
“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.”