By Uthman Samad
As controversy rages in Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU) over the issuance of Identity cards by the University Management, the University in an exclusive chat through her Public Relations Officer, Olarewaju Abiodun spoke on why the University has not issued identity cards, the University image maker also denied that the varsity charged any money for identity cards stating that no amount was charged for the purpose in the last academic session of the University.
Media reports had accused the University of ’embezzling’ over 17million naira (amount collected for identity cards) from the over 35,000 students in the varsity, a claim Mr Olarewaju faulted.
Students had also lamented the restricted opportunities due to lack of identity cards .
A student who simply identified herself as Sarah said she missed a scholarship opportunity due to lack of identity card: “I couldn’t meet up with some scholarship opportunities due to lack of a valid identity card and it was really painful”.
Another Student who spoke under anonymity due to sensitivity of the issue said “The identity card opens us to lots of issues and anomalies,i have gone through harassment in town because i was not given identity card and the varsity is not saying anything about it”.
While speaking on the development with OAU Peeps News Agency, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Abiodun Olarewaju said the accusation is merely propaganda
“First and foremost, the university management never collected a dime from any body for ID card, so let us get that clear. So the idea of ‘they collected money from us and they didn’t give us ID card’ is exceptionally propaganda.
“Secondly, we had some logistics with icons and because we don’t want to commit any error because OAU is a brand on its own, there were two instances why we noticed some errors and such errors could pass if it were not to be OAU but because there’s a particular level of excellence below which we can be expected to fall, so we have decided that Instead of a man bringing is this and that, we have decided, we will bring everything together this session and that’s what’s going on here.
Actually, the issuance of ID card for this session and for the last session are in top gear.
Abiodun olanrewaju, while commenting on whether the school Management is aware of the latest move by Students of the institution by tabling the issue to Economic and Financial crime control (EFCC) said “well, we are an institution, whether the Students have taken it to EFCC or not is not in the matter for us now. We have not received anything from EFCC, and I will like to tell you loud and clear that EFCC does not deal in frivolities. So if we don’t collect money for anything, and I want to also believe that anything you post on social media by now on what the Senate has passed, you must make sure that it’s correct.”
The Public Relations Officer of OAU also said that Students who according to him spread false rumors can be prosecuted
“Otherwise, don’t forget that these students are more than 18 of age, so they can be prosecuted too for spreading false alarm and anything related to rumours.
So there must be a clear demarcation between responsible citizenship and youthful brigandage, so that’s clear.
“So as am talking to you now, we haven’t seen anything from EFCC because EFCC will investigate first, then after that if we have a case to answer, EFCC will send on us, this is a free country. OAU is a brand that train Students to dominate its environment, but we still want our students to be very much conscious and careful on whatever they do, particularly the aspect of names or rumour in the social media because there’s a law now that says that if you spread anything false or rumour in the social media in the name of anything and is now found to be false, there are sanctions behind. So, our (OAU) Students should be careful, in as much as we believe in freedom of speech for them, because in OAU, we don’t guide our students. If OAU has given a free land for leadership for our Students, at the same time, we wouldn’t want to exhibit undue youthful exorbitance that can land them in trouble.”
Obafemi Awolowo University resumed for a new session on April 29, with returning students expected to be on campus from today (May 14), 2018.