2nd June, 2010
Vice-Chancellor of the Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella has raised an alarm over threat to his life by unknown persons following his condemnation of the plan by the state government to raise N50b bond to service debts.
P.M.NEWS gathered that a meeting convened by the government to discuss the development with the Vice-Chancellor could not hold on Sunday because he stayed away.
Prof. Tella had written to the state House of Assembly, describing as ridiculous the plan by the state government to raise N50b from the capital market to offset debt.
In his letter to the Speaker of the assembly, Tunji Egbetokun, dated 24 May, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Tella had stated: â€œWhile I do not object to raising loans to meet developmental obligations by governments or individuals, I find it ridiculous to borrow in order to offset an earlier debt. Every loan should count towards investment that will be able to repay the loan in future.â€
He challenged the state government to â€œpoint at what was done with earlier loans and why such projects are not yet bringing returns to offset such loans.
”The position of the House that the government should open its books for evaluation is within the jurisdiction of the House and should continue to insist on this.
â€œIn fact, the government should publish its audited accounts publicly every year as done by some state governments in the present dispensation.â€
The Vice Chancellor stressed that there was nothing wrong in government obtaining loans, but that it should be for projects that would yield benefits to the people.
He said the decision could be reversed if the government was able to meet â€œthe House on the projects to be invested on.â€
Prof. Tella in a telephone interview with P.M.NEWS revealed that since the letter written on his personal letterhead paper was submitted, there had been phone calls and anonymous messages warning him ”and expressing government displeasure with my position.
”In fact, I was to be at a meeting called by the government today (Sunday), but I was advised to stay away. Some of the callers are threatening. They said I should stay away from Abeokuta in my own interest.â€