Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter has decried the sacking of Professor Austin Nwagbara, a Nigerian professor, by the University of Education (UEW), Ghana, saying: ‘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.’ ASUU in a statement on Friday said its condemned ‘in absolute terms the unwarranted harassment, intimidation and illegal detention’ of the Professor Austin Nwagbara.
ASUU in the statement by Dele Ashiru, chairman of ASUU-UNILAG further called 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.’
ASUU said: 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 vies of Professor Nwagbara may be to the authorities of the University at Winneba, the Government and the people of Ghana, the fact remains that Professor Nwagbara’s vies 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 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.’
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