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Nwagbara Dismissal: Nigeria Won't Retaliate – Igbo King   
 
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24-Jun-2019  
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The king of the Nigerian Igbo Community in Ghana, His Majesty Eze Dr Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu, has assured the government and the people of Ghana that Ghanaian teachers in his country are safe and will not be sacked in retaliation to the dismissal of Augustine Uzoma Nwagbara, a Professor of English Language by Ghana’s University of Education, Winneba (UEW), over some unpalatable comments he made about Ghana at a meeting.

The Igbo king emphasised that: “Nigeria is not a country of retaliation of anything, Nigeria is a country of dialogue”.

Prof Nwagbara was arrested and charged with incitement conducive to breach of peace following the leakage of a tape which captured him inciting Nigerians against Ghanaians.

In a statement signed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria in response to the development, Chairman of the Union, Dele Ashiru, 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”.

The group added that the UEW “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.”

However, in an interview with Class FM, the Igbo king explained that he has communicated the happenings in Ghana to his fellow leaders in Nigeria to “let the people know that the way they are looking at things is not actually the way it is and retaliation might not give us exactly the result”.

He said: “I am telling them that we don’t have to go to that level”. The traditional leader said ASUU-UNILAG’s retaliation threat was borne “out of anger”.

He, however, admonished the Ghanaian authorities that if Prof Nwagbara was found to have misconducted himself, “the schools where he is teaching should, at least, first of all, consult him, sit down with him and know exactly why all those statements were made before they can even give him a letter of firing”.

In his opinion, the outright dismissal and “open letter” communicating the firing of the lecturer through the media was a “disgrace”. The situation should have been handled more diplomatically, the king said.

He suggested that the issue should be used as a case study for correcting mistakes and enhancing the management of such issues in the future.

Attacks on Nigerian shops

The Igbo king further called for a diplomatic approach in strengthening bilateral and trade relations between Ghana and Nigeria in the wake of the raiding of Nigerian shops by some Ghanaian traders at Suame Magazine in the Ashanti Region.

Two Nigerian-owned shops were ransacked by raucous Ghanaian youths in the early hours of Wednesday, 19 June 2019.

The vandalisation of the shops was to register their displeasure against a decision by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) to reopen closed Nigerian retail shops. This led to a near-clash between the Nigerians and the Ghanaians.

The confusion transpired ahead of a meeting by GUTA and other stakeholders on Wednesday to deliberate on the fate of Nigerian retailers at Suame and Tafo since retailing business is a preserve of Ghanaians but Nigerians have since ventures heavily into the sector.

The Igbo king was of the view that the governments of the two countries should resort to dialogue so that the disagreements do not escalate. He urged the Ghanaian authorities to go easy on the Nigerians to enable them trade in Ghana amicably.
 
 
Source: Class News
 
 

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