Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday faulted 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.
Mr Obasanj is a lecturer or facilitator at the Abeokuta campus of the university.
Premium Times reported that the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Abdalla Adamu, revealed that Mr Obasanjo was being paid N40,000 annually as an allowance for being a facilitator of the university.
“Mr Obasanjo’s allowance is N40,000 a year and he is happy being our facilitator. He has an office in our Abeokuta Study Centre, where we attached to him two students of Christian Theology.”
But Mr Obasanjo faulted Mr Adams’ claim, saying he renders service to the university free of charge. He is demanding that Mr Adams retracts the statement and offer him an apology.
In a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president 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 Adam, on the headline made this clarification imperative and to set the records straight on His Excellency’s engagement with the University,” the statement said.
“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.”
Mr Obasanjo 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.”
The former president said he has not received a dime either as salaries or otherwise from the university.
He said he stated in his letter that the appointment was received with “pleasure and duty to give back to others out of what God and NOUN have given me.”
He said the statement by the university’s vice-chancellor was embarrassing to him, “having generated mixed reactions across the globe, hence, the need for the Vice-Chancellor to retract the statement and tender an apology.
“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,” the statement said.