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Ospoly: Great Gamble Revisited, MGT Mandate Addition of Tax Clearance to File Submissions

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Enoch Oyedibu

 

The gamble has been in existence since about donkey’s years ago, lingering and jostling through the month of Sundays, hitherto; it is not ready to die, soon.

 

In 2015, the Osun State Government under the aegis of Mr Rauf Aregbesola, across all his constituency’s tertiary institutions, mandated students to imperatively add Tax Clearance as part of the criteria for submission of their respective academic files to complete each session.

 

The then, students across the state, including the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree students agitated for the need of the state government and their respective tertiary institutions’ managements to reconsider the order, citing several germane reasons, all of which state and managements bodies kissed with an outright declination.

 

One of the reasons cited then in 2015 was that tax clearance is for indigenes of Osun who are civil servants or working-class fellows, not for students. Aside, students from other parts of Nigeria studying in each of the state’s institutions would have a hard time getting the tax clearance because most of them, their parents do not reside in Osun, much less around Osun. Also, their surnames can be very hard to get sometimes.

 

The management of institutions then, perhaps, acting under the order of the state government make a sharp alternative for students where they can easily procure the tax clearance for themselves just to submit their files.

 

The fee attached to procure the tax clearance then, hitherto, depends on the years. The minimum of a year old tax clearance is around 5,000. Worthy of note, the older the years of the tax clearance to the present year, the higher the amounts of money to be paid for renewal.

 

These fees tagged as a form of extortion doesn’t exclude Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, students.

 

Of late, NANS Osun Axis had spoken on behalf of the entire Students of the state, protestingly hollering that the tax clearance should be removed, else massive protest would be organised in three days.

 

Around that same period, July 14, 2021, the Students Union Body of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, announced the eradication of the Tax Clearance as part of the criteria for file submission, having liaised with the management and it has endorsed the move. This was contained in a memo signed by Comrade Ajao Samson (Impeccable).

 

But the Student Union Body seems to not understand the game of chess and has perhaps, forgotten to gets the management to have their verdict inscribed on papyrus; one the reason, management of the institution can easily reverse the order and mandated every student to submit files with tax clearance included, failure to do so is disability to submit the file.

 

While what transpired remain puzzling, the game of chess taught that one can sacrifice a valuable asset, like a queen on the board, to gain tactical or fatal positional compensation for your opponent.

 

In the game of chess, a player might sacrifice a pawn or piece to get open lines around the vicinity of the opponent’s king, to get a kingside space advantage, to destroy or damage the opposing king’s pawn cover, or to keep the opposing king in the centre. Unless the opponent manages to fend off the attack, they are likely to lose.

 

This move rather is tagged obsequiousness, gross, grotesque; it’s highly revered and tactically placed. It is what makes you a professional master of disguise who understands the language of the court; smile against his thoughts, cry against his belly, walk against his legs…

 

Perhaps, this is more of the strategy used by the management against the students of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Perhaps, the management and the state government remains that powerful players and students, including the Union, became the opponents they must strike down at all cost.

 

When it appears students would call for a massive protest, these kings hate chaos; they love to maintain the ‘Goodwill’ motto of the state as the rector of Ospoly said in an interview with him. So, they decided to disguise. Sacrifice some weeks to cool students protesting spirit, after, they strike again. And they did.

 

Image of a placard, FICT Faculty office plastered on its door detailing the imperative of tax clearance.

In the forward, tax clearance’s addition to the criteria for submission of files remains and will remain a means of extorting students, whether by the state government or the management body. It’s a symbolic sign communicating tribalism, ethnic diversity and prejudice to the students who are not autochthonous of the State, yet schooling in the state.

 

It would be, of course, one of the best, the state government and the management body would have done for the students if the order can be completely removed and not be dribbled as a gambling stake. As it is now.

 

It would be essentially recalled that from 2015 to 2017, students of the Osun Polytechnic, Iree who went to the state government in power then, got to understand that management of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, are the one enforcing the tax clearance on students to be part of the criteria for submission of files, perhaps, because of gains attached to it for them.

 

The state government claimed that it has nothing to do with it. In the same blood, furious students got to the management demanding explanations and positive actions instantly. To their surprise, management also claimed it has nothing to do with it. Ah!What a perfect game of chess!

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This is the way of the management body since those years, hitherto. And what the Students only have is that “Tax clearance” would be removed today, and “tomorrow” be added.

 

The questions now remain, Who is Who on the issue of tax clearance in the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and why should students pay for tax clearance?

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