Inciting comment: Police grant visiting Nigerian lecturer bail
The police have cautioned and granted bail to visiting Nigerian Professor Austin Nwagbara of the University of Education for allegedly inciting Nigerians against Ghanaians in a viral video.
Prof. Nwagbara was arrested Tuesday and cautioned on “offense of Offensive Conduct Conducive to the breach of peace,” a police statement said.
He has “been admitted to bail”, head of public affairs at the CID headquarters DSP Juliana Obeng said.
In the video, he was seen meeting with some Nigerians in Ghana and implored them to use the Nigerian media to destroy Ghana in the eyes of the international community through negative reportage.
According to the professor, Nigeria already has a bad image mainly because of how they have been branded by others, especially by Ghana, so it is time to reciprocate that by coming up with innovative ideas and strategies.
“We’re highly skilled and highly talented and blessed people but many at time we lack strategy, Nigerians tend to lack strategy. You can have good skills, if you don’t know how to let people know it, it is there; dies, like having a factory full of items in the warehouse. If you don’t advertise it remains in the warehouse”.
“They have harassed us a lot, I know that… What I’m saying is we need strategies. I’ll suggest something which the embassy can think about; I know they know which they can do immediately at the Nigerians community. There is bad image for Nigeria; we can take it back through the press. We can reverse it.
“We have powerful Nigerian media stations, channels broadcast all over the world, there’s active online social media, the plot in Nigeria. Let them come here and run documentaries of the experiences of Nigerians and blast it all over the world. In three days Ghana would respond,” he said in the video.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana has appealed to the media and the public to be circumspect with their reports and commentary on crimes committed by Nigerians.
According to the High Commission, it is unfair for all Nigerians in Ghana to be branded criminals because some have been involved in the spate of crimes in the country.
”Suffice to say that at times like this, a situation where five (5) Ghanaians in company of three (3) Nigerians allegedly kidnapped two (2) Canadians but seems to enjoy wider press coverage as a crime committed by the Nigerians and considers Ghanaians only as accomplices leave much to be desired on the objectivity of such report. In the light of the above, the High Commission wishes to appeal to the local traditional media and social media to be highly circumspect in such reportage.
”In effect, the ongoing media trial of the criminals which was now being turned media trial of Nigeria as a country, calls for moderation on the part of media practitioners in Ghana. Moreover, such media trials could be seen as prejudicial to the outcome of the ongoing prosecution in court which sees them as innocent until proven guilty. On this note, the Nigeria lHigh Commission wishes to reiterate its stand that whoever commits crime and is found guilty must face the consequences of his/her action. On its part, the High Commission will continue to mobilize all Nigerians living in Ghana to obey the domestic laws. The High Commission is also in touch with all relevant host authorities with a view to amicably resolve the issue,” a statement signed by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana Ambassador Olufemi Michael Abikoye said.
It further said: “This has become highly imperative in view of its larger implications on Nigerians living in Ghana and Ghanaians living in Nigeria as well. Moreover, the excellent relations that subsist between Nigeria and Ghana as maternal brotherly countries under His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and his brother, President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo can never be allowed to be jeopardized by Xenophobic tendencies over such intents”.