The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has finally tendered an apology to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, over an earlier statement by the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Abdalla Adamu.
The Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Abdalla Adamu has said that Obasanjo is being paid N40,000 annually as an allowance for being a facilitator of the university. He said:
“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.”
However, Obasanjo faulted Mr. Adams’ claim, saying he renders service to the university free of charge. He demanded that the institution’s VC should retract his statement and offer him an apology.
The university in a statement signed by Mr. Ibrahim Sheme, its Director of Media and Publicity on Thursday, tendered an apology to Obasanjo and made it clear that the elder statesman had accepted to be rendering free services to the university in the same capacity.
The university said it was reacting to a story in a national newspaper on Wednesday that Obasanjo would earn N40,000 per annum as “NOUN lecturer”.
It explained that the story emanated from a press conference held by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, on Tuesday, ahead of the university’s 8th Convocation Ceremony slated for Saturday. The statement reads:
“While we remain grateful to all the media houses that give our activities positive coverage, we insist that their news reports should always be accurate and diligent.
“While it is true that the VC had told the gathering of journalists and NOUN staff present at the conference that the university had offered the former President, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.
“A facilitation appointment, the honorarium mentioned in the newspaper publications is the generic amount the university issues in the appointment letters of all facilitators.”
“For the records, therefore, we wish to clarify that His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is offering his services as a facilitator to NOUN absolutely free of charge and with no strings attached.
“The former President told the university that his decision was premised on the fact that he is giving back to the society out of the great bounties God and the university have given him.
“For this laudable and patriotic gesture of his, we remain immensely indebted to the former President and elder statesman.”
It added that the Registrar, Mr Felix Edoka, had expressed the university’s regret over the inconveniences and embarrassment the newspaper publications might have caused to him.