When I heard that the President has zero tolerance for corruption, I thought that the problem (especially in the area of corruption) of this country has been solved. Up till this moment, the police have not stopped their extortions on the highways. It has even grown beyond what we used to know as their normal behavior with drivers.

It is no longer news in the Delta State University community that payment for late registration has taken a new turn. It is the most spoken language of the students immediately after resumption of studies. When the school resumes, first thing you’ll hear from virtually everyone on campus is “When did they say is the deadline for school fees payment?”
It has been recognized to be a norm in the community (University) that the people have completely adjusted to the trend. A typical black man will adapt to any condition, no matter how difficult it seems to be. Just give them two weeks or three, they’ll tell you “what do you think we should do?”
What surprises me most is the level it has grown to. Between the Christmas and New Year period of 2016, they released batches of admitted students into the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of study in Delta State University. For the undergraduate level, it was the fourth batch and the Mop-up list.

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For the postgraduate level, it was the third and fourth batches. From the first day of 2017 (01-01-2017), the same people that were admitted, who have not been screened are being told that the portal has already been locked for normal payment. Now they are to pay for Late-Registration fee of N11,000 (N10,000 + N1,000 bank commission).
My God! These are people who have been waiting for the admission list to be released for over 5 months. The list was released and within a week, they are to pay for late registration. This isn’t fair. The Dean of Postgraduate School made the most shocking statement on this issue. I happened to be around him when they complained about the late registration added to the new students that are coming in. He said and I quote “Is it because we gave you guys admission? Do you know how many people that were not admitted?” I asked myself the question that I couldn’t ask him right there. It goes thus: The people that were admitted, were they not qualified for the admission? Is it a favour that you did in admitting them? If it is a favour, is the extra N11,000 a means of obtaining the fee for the favour? Why not make it clear that it is admission fee so that the prospective students will be aware of what they are actually paying for? The answer to these questions I have not been able to find because their lofty positions are the type that would take this type of question to be an insult instead of acting on it.
Can we really get the type of Nigeria that we see in our dreams? Not long ago (between the months of October and December, 2016), I saw some weekend students of Delta State University who have graduated and went for their clearance. The news they came back with was shocking. The Weekend Degree Office has refused to sign their clearance papers, telling them to pay Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) for journal. I was stunned. Journal after graduation? Why was it not made mandatory to them while they were at school? My questions were all rhetorical because there was no one to give me the answers I sought.
I have known the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. V.F. Peretomode to have zero tolerance for corruption. I love his government so well. I respect him for making sure that normalcy is returned to the University community. But with these occurrences, I asked myself another series of question: Is he aware of these payments in the University? Why has he not done anything about it? But the questions have no route to be channeled to him (the Vice-chancellor).
If we are to fight corruption, we should fight every facet of it. The worst part of it is when you fight one side of it and leave the other which favours you. If we seek change in this country, let all of us make sure that we act according to our words. If things like this persist in Nigeria, it is not a curse but the fact; this country will not be good (as perceived) in the next 15 years. Extortion is taking place in all sectors of the country.
If only the Vice Chancellor will act promptly on this issue, I’ll be most pleased. God Bless Nigeria!
© Donatus Enubuzor 2017

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