There is a news report captioned “Prof. Nwagbara Did Not Incite Violence So Why Charge Him? – Nigerian Quizzes” (RainBowRadioOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 6/19/19), in which a Nigerian national by the name of Uche Boaze, who claims to have been living in Ghana for nearly a decade, is reported to be claiming that Prof. Augustine (aka Austin) Uzoma Nwagbara put his finger on the right button, when the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria, caustically lambasted the Ghanaian media for callously and deliberately demonizing Nigerians before the global community. Well, about the best way to determine whether, indeed, the Ghanaian media could be credibly faulted with having singularly “demonized” or maligned the global Nigerian community would be for “erudite” Nigerian intellectuals like Prof. Nwagbara to study media reportage involving crime and Nigerians or the Nigerian community in countries across the world, including, namely, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where, even as I write, some 8 Nigerian nationals have reportedly been sentenced to death for indulging in crimes ranging from burglarizing Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and stealing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of hard currency across the UAE, and other forms of armed robbery and extortion scams.
They could also survey media reportage involving Nigerians engaged in criminal activities in heavily Nigerian-settled countries like the United States, Britain, Canada, South Africa and elsewhere around the globe and compare the same with the criminal profile of Ghanaian citizens resident in these same countries and draw up the most logical conclusions. These image and reputation defenders could also conduct a global comparative survey of the stereotypical profiles, respectively, of Nigerians and Ghanaians living outside their home countries. You see, Nigerians have a very bad or negative image throughout the world not merely because they have passively sat duck to allow people from other nations to pejoratively brand them as such, but especially because they have globally demonstrated beyond any shadow or iota of a doubt that, for the most part, they are incorrigible scofflaws and pathologically unethical, socially violent and aggressive and simply nihilistic.
In terms of “Xenophobia,” one only has to conduct a cursory analysis of the causes and factors that precipitated the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) otherwise known as the Biafran War, to be able to objectively prove the fact of whether, indeed, Nigerians own or are squarely responsible for their own globally negative image and reputation, or this lingering blight is either predominantly or wholly the making of Ghanaians and the Ghanaian media, as the likes of Prof. Augustine Nwagbara and Mr. Boaze would have the rest of the world believe. We also know that Prof. Nwagbara deliberately intended to incite Nigerian media violence and a systematic campaign of defamation against Ghanaians because, somehow, the recently dismissed Visiting Professor of the Linguistics Department of the University of Education, Winneba, in his widely circulated videoclip, specifically mentioned the imperative need for the Nigerian Embassy or High Commission in Ghana to studiously get involved in his patently vacuous and chimerical “counter-demonization” of both the Ghanaian media and citizenry at large.
On the latter count, this is what Prof. Nwagbara had to say on the aforementioned videoclip: “They [i.e. the Ghanaian media] have harassed us a lot. I know that…. What I’m saying is [that] we need strategies. I’ll suggest something which The Embassy [initial capitals added] can think about; I know they know [what] they can do immediately [with] the Nigerian community [in Ghana]. There is a bad image for Nigeria; we can take it back through the press. We can reverse it.” There is clearly an unmistakable hint of collusive, collaborative and a conspiratorial attempt by Prof. Nwagbara and some highly placed operatives of the Nigerian High Commission, perhaps even one that involves High Commissioner / Ambassador Michael Olufemi Abikoye. This critical observation may, at best, be speculative at this juncture; but it may still be worth investigating by such national security agencies as the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and some of the other intelligence agencies operated by the Ghana Armed Forces.
Prof. Nwagbara also claims that Ghana’s media are routinely engaged in the ungodly business of harassing Nigerian nationals resident in the country, so, once again, the most logical question to ask here is this: Why would Prof. Nwagbara want to extend his stay in Ghana on a sabbatical leave on the soils and the geopolitical confines of a host country that so insufferably harasses Nigerian citizens as a virtual hobby? Once again, the most commonsensically logical answer may very well inhere in the psyche or psychological temperament and/or mindset of the clearly intemperate critic himself. Then also, after pontifically reminding the key operatives of the Nigerian Embassy in Ghana of their bounden patriotic obligation to fiercely defend the image and integrity of their beloved Nigeria, Prof. Nwagbara also charges these diplomats to use the teeming members/numbers of the Nigerian community to plot an insidious campaign of the immitigable defamation of the image and reputation of their hosts.
Now, if the foregoing does not constitute an incitement to hatred and the cold-calculated call for the total destruction of Ghana a la The Punic Wars, what else is it? It is also rather curious for over 12,000 Nigerian college and university students to opt to fly or ship out to Ghana for the acquisition of advanced degrees at 30 times the average cost of the amount of money that it takes for these same students to study at home, only to be constantly, deliberately and systematically harassed and gratuitously maligned by Ghanaian citizens and our media. Or it is simply that Nigerians, by and large, are congenitally masochistic in temperament? I mean, do Messrs. Uche Boaze and Augustine Nwagbara not realize the fact that by so scathingly insulting the intelligence of their own nationals resident in Ghana, these two Nigerian agents-provocateurs are actually doing more damage to the image and reputation of Nigerians resident abroad than any possible apocalyptic damage that the operatives of Ghana’s media could effectively or successfully orchestrate against “evil-behaving” Nigerians resident in Ghana?
Then also, after all, the Nigerians could scarcely be as relatively far more talented and professionally far better skilled than their Ghanaian counterparts or, in this case, their purportedly inveterate Ghanaian enemies, if they cannot devise any strategically formidable means of “counter-demonizing” their Ghanaian scapegoats. You see, not even the President of Ghana could so cavalierly dictate the tone and tenor or the operational latitude of the media in the Democratic Republic of Ghana, let alone the faculty union or association of a foreign country, even one with which Ghanaians are on the warmest of fraternal and sororal terms.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 24, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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