Former Nigeria’s President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has denied a claim by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) that it pays him an annual allowance for his role as a facilitator of the university.
Naija News had reported that the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdalla Adamu while speaking on Obasanjo’s earnings, stated that the former President earns N40,000 annually as a supervisor of NOUN in Abeokuta Study Centre in Ogun State.
Adamu while addressing journalists, revealed that Obasanjo who holds PhD in Christian Theology has two students in Theological Studies attached to him.
His words: “Obasanjo has two students attached to him in Theological Studies. We gave him an office in Abeokuta and the salary is N40,000 a year as a facilitator.”
“The former President did his fieldwork in Borno State during the heat of the insurgency, going to collect and analyse data.
“We have another big fish that we have appointed as a facilitator and we will announce him when we have given him an appointment letter,” he had said.
Responding in a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo denied Adamu’s claim, saying he renders service to the university free of charge.
The former President called on Adamu to retract the statement and offer him a public apology.
Obasanjo said: “the very clear quotation of the Vice-Chancellor made it necessary for him to make the clarification and to set the records straight on his engagement with the university.
“Ordinarily, this will have been unnecessary exercise, if it has been the usual shenanigans of the media to sell their newspapers. But, the very clear quotation of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdalla Adamu, on the headline made this clarification imperative and to set the records straight on His Excellency’s engagement with the University,” the statement added.
“In putting the records in right perspective, His Excellency wishes to draw the attention of the Vice-Chancellor to his letter dated 12 April 2018, which was written to the University Registrar, Mr. Felix Edoka, when the Council offered him a Part-Time appointment as an Instructional/Tutorial Facilitator and Project Supervisor in the Faculty of Arts at the Abeokuta Study Centre”.
The former president recalled that, specifically in paragraph 3 of the letter, he wrote: “I will gladly undertake any of the functions mentioned in paragraph two of your letter pro bono and I hope that the functions will be flexible enough to accommodate my rather tight schedule.”
Obasanjo said he had not received a dime either as salaries or otherwise from the university.
The former Nigerian leader stated in his letter that his appointment was received with “pleasure and duty to give back to others out of what God and NOUN have given me.”
“The publication, which has generated mixed reactions from the general public and calls from far and near on the elder statesman expressing concern, is, to say the least, embarrassing, uncharitable, mischievous and in bad taste, with immediate demand for a retraction and apology from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor,” he added.