Embattled Professor Augustine Nwagbara on Thursday narrated the ordeal he went through in the hands of Ghanaian authorities through the University he served as well as the hostile media and harassment of its security agencies.
Nwagbara stated this when he paid a courtesy visit on Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in Abuja.
Nwagbara, a Professor of English, was in Ghana on a one-year sabbatical in December 2018 and a purported video of him addressing an informal meeting of Nigerians living in Ghana where he was quoted to have insulted Ghanaians, went viral.
He said the video of him that went viral on the social media where he was said to be inciting Nigerians against Ghana was doctored and painted in such a way to blackmail him
Prof. Nwagbara said the doctored video was allegedly said to have been released by a Journalist working with a Ghanaian Private TV Station.
According to him, he went through serious of ordeal from the University authorities in Ghana as he was subjected to series of interrogations by the University of Education, Winniba, Ghana.
In his Words, “They said I was sacked, then dismissed, which was another wrong word to use, as you cannot dismiss some body on sabbatical in your country.
“As I speak with you, I have not received any letter of sack or dismissal, whereas various factions of the letters are already in circulation in Ghana and on social media”.
He, however, commended the Nigerian High Commissioner in Ghana, Amb. Olufemi Abikoye for the wonderful role he played in the whole saga, especially with respect to his security in Ghana and prompt intervention, adding that, “But for him, I probably would have been a dead man”.
Receiving the Professor in her office, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said, “We are proud of you as one of our best brains. You are an asset to your country. Not surprising, you’ve received offers from other Universities to complete your sabbatical before returning to the University of Lagos”.
She said that over 1000 Nigerians had been deported in controversial circumstances by Ghanaian authorities in the last two years.
“Between January and June 2019, 509 Nigerians were forcefully deported while 527 Nigerians got deported in 2018.
“We are not going to tolerate any country treating Nigerians shabbily. Our stand is that if a Nigerian commits a crime, other Nigerians should not suffer for that”, She said.
She called for caution, and warned that such treatment should not be allowed to degenerate to the level of retaliation.
Dabiri-Erewa said there was need for mutual respect between Nigeria and Ghana as they are two brother nations.
The NIDCOM boss urged both Ministries of Foreign Affairs to work out amicable ways of addressing these recurring challenges.