The president of the Oxford Union – a well-known university debating society – has resigned following the outcry over his handling of an incident involving a blind student being “dragged by his ankles” and then ejected from the debating chamber last month.
Ebenezer Azamati, a postgraduate student from Ghana who is studying International Relations, was at the Oxford Union on October 17 when a security guard tried to remove him from the room by force, according to witnesses.
Azamati then faced a complaint brought by the Oxford Union for “violent” behavior, the Oxford University Africa Society (OUAS) said in a statement.
Brendan McGrath, the president of the Oxford Union, said in his resignation letter posted on the union’s Facebook page on Tuesday evening, that he had failed in his “job to ensure that every member feels welcome.”
Alluding to the disciplinary complaint he brought against Azamati, McGrath apologized “profusely and unqualifiedly” for his “shortcomings,” and urged the Oxford Union to address its disability policies and how it trains its staff.
CNN has sought comment from the Oxford Union.
The complaint was dropped on Saturday following an appeal and Azamati’s membership was reinstated.
The incident occurred when Azamati returned to the Oxford Union to reclaim a seat he had reserved ahead of a debate on the British government, Nwamaka Ogbonna, president of OUAS, told CNN.
After being told the room was full by security, he was offered a seat by another attendee and sat down, Ogbonna added.
Henry Hatwell, a 21-year-old law student who was an eyewitess, told CNN that a member of security staff then came up to him and used “disproportionate” force.
Azamati was “dragged by his ankles” before a friend intervened and security escorted him from the debating chamber.
A video of the incident, shared with CNN by OUAS, shows Azamati resisting the security guard’s attempts to make him leave and demanding his seized Oxford Union membership card back.
After Azamati’s story became more widely known earlier this week, public figures came out in support of him.
David Lammy, a Labour politician, tweeted that the “indignity suffered is beyond comprehension.”