UEW’s dismissal of Nigerian professor appropriate – Mensah Bonsu

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Comment: NO! I DISAGREE!!!

2019-06-20 17:10:35
Comment to:
UEW’s dismissal of Nigerian professor appropriat

If I were the UEW leadership, would I have sacked the Nigerian professor! No, I wouldn't!

Why? First, though I find his utterances most insolent and distasteful in many parts, I don't think they warrant an outright dismissal! Second, and most important, the response to the damage he has done should be to repair it with a higher objective of, on the one hand, both assuaging the pain of Ghanaians and nudging them into forgiving of the Nigerian professor and, on the other hand, both diffusing the rising fear and insecurity that the Nigerian residents feel in the country now, and not jeopardizing the growing productive and mutually beneficial relationship between Ghana and Nigeria. This is a four-fold objective, which I see as a productive and progressive damage-repair approach whose rationale is to attain higher and mutually beneficial values!

So what I would do, if I were UEW, would be along these lines: reprimand him, and, then, advise him to release a press statement regretting unconditionally his utterances and offering an unqualified apology to both UEW and UG and to the Government and people of Ghana! If need be, he should do this at a short press conference for media coverage. At such a conference, he should be seated in the middle of a 'panel' including representatives of the UEW, the Nigerian High Commission (preferably, the High Commissioner himself), representatives of the two major associations of Nigerian nationals residing in Ghana, and a few of the Nigerian lecturers/professors teaching in Ghana. It is he who should read out the press statement. He may answer two or three questions, but his answer to whatever question should be to keep repeating 'I am sorry, forgive me'! He should have it at the back of his mind that he is doing all that for a greater cause: the security and safety of Nigerians in Ghana and the respect for the sensibilities of Ghanaians! This concerted approach, -- parading a 'high-powered' team of both Nigerian and Ghanaian leaders 'aiding' the Nigerian professor to express his regret and render unconditional apology to the host nation, -- is what would be integrative of the interests of the two parties, Ghanaians-as-hosts and Nigerians-as-guests. This is the sort of engagement that fosters and promotes the values of forgiveness, of brotherliness, of good neighbourliness, of even ECOWAS-ness and African-ness and, above all, of Godliness!

Terminating his appointment, which is the approach the UEW has taken, seems to me not only a misplacement of worth and somewhat too harsh but also 'conflictual'.

Misplacement of worth: because his utterances are not worth the punishment! Such an extremely punitive measure should be reserved for serious matters! Though we have all condemned his utterances, they can very well be treated with contempt and ignored! They are full of factual inaccuracies; they are lies; and they are the barking of a toothless dog! And they are made by someone we can easily dismiss as 'idiot' and 'half-crazy'! He's not at all worth making a 'matyr' of for his people! If ignored, he, himself, would check out of the country!

Too harsh: because as a punitive measure it seems disproportionately severe relative to the damage done, and as a 'solution' it provides the Nigerian professor no 'chance' for regret and change. Despite all his rantings against Ghana, he chooses to live and work in Ghana. Either he is irrational for still living in a place that is so bad by his own estimation, or he is a rational being who sees his stay in Ghana still beneficial for him in spite of all the supposed troubles he's experiencing there. If it is the latter, then he deserves a chance -- a sort of second chance -- to 'reform'. A misbehaved or recalcitrant Nigerian also deserves a second chance! Giving your fellow man a second chance to turn over a new leaf is part of the beauty of Godliness!

And conflictual: because as a punitive act or a 'solution' it keeps the two parties further apart, not helping to diffuse the seeming 'animosity' between them and the tension that the professor's utterances have generated in the country.

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CASCARA on Jun 20, 2019 17:10