A blind Nigerian student on the verge of being kicked out of the UK is to ‘sing for liberation’.
Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe, who lives in the city with his wife and four school-age children, will perform in a ‘protest concert’ being organised in Dundee.
New Zealand folk singer Paul Brown, who is originally from Dundee, will travel to Scotland to perform alongside Mr Agbakuribe to “combine radical traditions of Scotland and Nigeria” and “sing songs of resistance and liberation”.
The gig in the upstairs room of Dil’Se on Perth Road on May 30 is being held under the banner “Shame to Fame: Songs for Liberation” as part of the ‘Defend Bamidele Cheka Agbakuribe Campaign’.
A public petition accused Dundee University of “disability and racial discrimination” after it terminated Mr Agbakuribe’s PhD studies following slow academic progress.
He lodged a complaint which was investigated by the university but not upheld so Mr Agbukuribe must leave the UK.
Mr Brown said: “I think it’s really important to raise awareness of this student’s situation.
“He has given up everything to study here, including selling his house. Now, he and his family face having to return to Nigeria with nothing and no qualification to show for it.
“I want both the university and the government to reconsider their positions and to make sure that he is allowed to complete the studies he started so that he can return home to do the work for the blind community in Nigeria.”
Mr Brown, who was the first blind student at Dundee University, said he was “aware of the challenges that Bamidele has faced”.
Mr Agbakuribe is being supported by his local SNP MSP, Joe FitzPatrick, members of the University and College Union’s national executive committee as well as its Dundee University branch, and the Scottish TUC.
A spokesman for Dundee University said it was satisfied that the decision to terminate Mr Agbakuribe’s studies was made solely on the basis of a lack of academic progress against a background of extensive and dedicated support.
He said: “The university has an obligation to ensure that academic standards are consistently applied so that the value of a University of Dundee degree is consistently maintained.
“It would be wrong to permit a student to continue on a programme when these standards have not been met.”