The man-handling of a blind Ghanaian student studying at the University of Oxford has set the entire African student community on the campus against the Oxford Union, with protests about to be launched in solidarity with the blind Ghanaian, MyNewsGh.com has learnt.
Ebenezer Azamati is a former student of the University of Ghana and was reportedly an active player in Legon student governance activities in the 2014, 2015-2016 academic years. He gained admission to Oxford University this year to read his MPhil.
Since his admission to the Oxford University, he has been active in debate and Oxford Union activities, MyNewsGh.com was told.
Mr. Azamati was allegedly muscled and maltreated by Oxford Union bouncers at one such University debate event and was allegedly slapped and prevented from re-entering the debate chamber.
It is unclear what exactly happened or what led to the scene but the first video to go viral showed the OU bouncers push him out after having forcefully squeezed him up and lifted him from his chair in a student gathering where other students videoed the episode.
It was only after the video went viral that student agitations started upon learning Mr. Ebenezer Azamati was blind and was being ejected from the front row of the Oxford Union event.
Hundreds of Oxford university students have since started hashtags to call for an official apology for the blind Ghanaian student.
“Oxford Union is racist. Everyone is doing somersaults to avoid saying the obvious. What happened isn’t just unjust its racist/ableist. I’ve never been in a place where even obvious facts are always up for debate. The other day someone tried to debate me on the matter of colonialism being a racist enterprise lmao” one student of Oxford posted on twitter.
“Talk about “rendering the familiar strange and the strange familiar” in the worst ways possible. @OxfordUnion really needs to answer us: why didn’t you do anything to stop this from happening? Why haven’t you extended any sort of care to your society member? How can Black and/or disabled people expect to be safe at your gatherings when you don’t even extend an apology?”
Africa Society of Oxford leads fight
Oxford University Africa Society (AfriSoc) has called for the resignation of the Union President following what happened to Mr. Azamati
In a press statement sighted by MyNewsGh.com and jointly signed by the President, Vice President and Secretary of AfriSoc, the association asked Mr Brendan Mcgrath to take responsibility for the actions of a union staff bouncer, who is alleged to have manhandled the Ghanaian MPhil student, Mr Ebenezer Azamati.
Giving their version of the treatment meted out to Mr. Azamati, it said he “was forcibly and violently prevented from re-entering the Union to resume his seat, and subsequently, forced to leave the debating Chamber after simply exiting and re-entering when the program had not even begun.
Describing the actions meted out to the visually impaired as “ violent, unjust, inhumane, and shameful,” the statement said the Union failed in its basic responsibility.
“The President of the Union (must re)consider his position given that his conduct on this matter renders him unfit to assume the position of responsibility,” the statement said.
The student association says until their demands are met, it will not relent on protestations against the Oxford Union.
“AfriSoc holds this case as not only a grave injustice to Mr Azamati but to all African students, students with disability needs and all students at the University of Oxford with the heart and mind to appreciate the unfair and undignified treatment of Mr. Azamati,” the statement added.