Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has denied he earns N40,000 annually as a supervisor at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Abeokuta Study Centre, Ogun State.
Obasanjo made this known in a statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, said his services at the university is pro bono.
He, therefore, demanded a retraction and apology from the Office of the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof Abdalla Adamu.
The institution’s VC had on Tuesday claimed that Obasanjo was given an office in Abeokuta and earned N40,000 yearly after being employed by the university in 2018.
He spoke at a press briefing in Abuja to herald the 8th convocation of NOUN, where 20,799 students will be awarded graduate and postgraduate degrees with 103 graduates finishing with First Class honours.
But reacting to Prof Adamu’s claims, Obasanjo said it was embarrassing, uncharitable, mischievous and in bad taste.
The former president demanded immediate retraction and apology from the VC.
Obasanjo, a PhD holder in Christian Theology, said the publication had generated mixed reactions from the general public and calls on him from far and near.
The elder statesman affirmed that he has not received any dime either as salaries or otherwise from the university, adding that he was not planning for such now or forever.
He explained that in his reply to the university’s Registrar, Felix Edoka, on the appointment offer last year, he had accepted to “gladly undertake any of the functions mentioned in paragraph two of your letter pro bono.”
The statement partly read, “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.
“In putting the records in right perspective, His Excellency wish 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.
“Specifically in Paragraph 3 of the letter, President Obasanjo 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.’ (See attached a copy of the letter).
“The former President affirmed that he has not received any dime either as salaries or otherwise from the University and not planning for such now or forever, as 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.’
“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.”