The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s, EFCC, engagement of strategic stakeholders in the fight against corruption, describing it as portending great hope for the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Eyitayo Ogunbodede, gave the commendation on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, while receiving a delegation from EFCC’s Ibadan zonal office, who paid him a courtesy visit.
Ogunbodede said, “When we got your letter, it was actually a surprise to us. Often times when we have people coming for the EFCC, it was just to come and investigate and find out what is happening concerning particular issues. I initially saw in your proposal another way of operating. But this gesture portends a very great future for this country. I am a medical person and we agree in the medical parlance that prevention is better than cure. When we take issue of fight against corruption the way you are going about it now, it is always much more productive. It is always much more enriching and at the end of the day, it makes better and easier choice for everybody”.
He added, “I am quite happy that this is happening. I want to welcome you and your entire team to Obafemi Awolowo University. I want to let you know that this great gesture that is coming from you is not taken for granted. We cherish it and we want to assure you that we are very eager and we are quite happy to partner with you and ensure that your mission, which is a mission that is supported by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, actually comes to fruition”.
Responding to the request of the commission to have the opportunity to interact the students, the Vice Chancellor stated, “I must say that we have had more than what we bargained for. We were not expecting that the engagement will be this deep. I want to say straightaway that it is very pleasing to us that you are very willing to engage our students. I also want to let know that aside the new ones that will have their orientation at the begging of the next session, we will place before you the totality and generality of our students because they will really need it,” he said while adding that the CVC will be willing to engage the Commission on how to improve governance in the university communities”.
The leader of the team and Zonal Head of the Commission’s Ibadan office, Friday Ebelo, had disclosed to the Vice Chancellor that the visit was part of the mission of the acting Chairman of the ant-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu, who according to him, directed that all critical stakeholders across the country are engaged to ensure that the anti-corruption message is effectively delivered to the appropriate audience.
“I am here on a common mission from my boss, Mr. Ibahim Magu, who instructed that I should engage the critical stakeholders so that we can build a society that we can all be proud of. Listening to you brings to mind the policy trust of my chairman when he was appointed. He told us that he is building on three basic thrust of the fear of God, putting Nigeria first and respect for the rule of law. If you have the fear of God, you will be able to dispense and manage the resources that are given to you for the betterment and well-being of the people,” Ebelo said.
The Ibadan zonal head also used the occasion to challenge Committee of Vice Chancellors to work in harmony to ensure that corruption is alienated from the university administration in the country.
According to him, “The university environment is a place that raises leaders. It is a place where morals are built. It is not just about the studies, it also involves character building. It is a place where full individual is molded to become what he wants to become in the future. For such development to take place, we need to create high standard in the university system because most of the young ones that pass through the university look up to those who hold strategic offices, especially the VC who is the head of the community”.
“We are looking at a situation in which we can engage the Committee of Vice Chancellors through you so that we can tell them that the position you hold is a position of trust. If you can use this position for the betterment of your environment and the society; if you can better the lot of the younger ones and better the lives of the staff, it is then you can become a better person. It is not a good thing that you see someone that is highly placed being tried in the court of law because he is found to be in the bad side of the law. That further dampens the morale and the confidence of the people that are looking up to the person”, he stated.
Ebelo also requested the management of the university to give opportunity to the Commission to engage their new intakes during their orientation programmes stressing that such avenue would be useful to take them on the evils associated with crime and their consequences, as well as convince them on why they must never be persuaded to go into it.
He challenged relevant departments in the university to come up with seminars and academic engagements that would help the commission and the society at large to effectively tackle the menace of corruption.