The arrest and detention of Professor Austin Nwagbara, a Nigerian, by the Ghana Police Service, is unwarranted and illegal, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has condemned, warning that should any harm befall the "erudite professor", Ghanaians in Nigeria could bear the "reciprocal" consequences.
Prof Nwagbara was arrested and charged with incitement conducive to breach of peace following the leakage of a leaked which captured him inciting Nigerians against Ghanaians.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Dele Ashiru, 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 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 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 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.”