Obasanjo: Why I went back to school

Obasanjo: Why I went back to school

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:22 pm

Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has spoken about his decision to study for an MA and PHD in theology at the National Open University, Lagos.

Incidentally, the university took off in 2001 during his administration.

Obasanjo with the VC of Noun, Professor  Vincent Ado Tenebe. Guardian photo

Obasanjo with the VC of Noun, Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe. Guardian photo

“I decided to register as a student and acquire knowledge in Christian Theology not because I want to be a pastor, but because I want to know more about my God and be able to serve him better. And again, I wanted to make a statement that no matter your position, age should not be a barrier to learning. Learning should be a continuous process as longer as you are still mentally able to do so.

“But if you can do it, to learn without formality of a university, fine and good, but I chose to continue to learn by other means and also through the discipline and formality of a university system. I wanted to throw a bit of limelight on this institution knowing fully well that this country at no time in the foreseeable future would be able to provide, build a university for all Nigerian students who want to have education, I am happy about the increase in the enrolment.”

Since his graduation in the same university with a postgraduate diploma in theology,the 77 year-old Obasanjo said he had been busy on two projects, his presidential library and his biography.

“Having made reasonable progress on those projects, I thought of what next to keep me challenged, and this admission you have graciously given me is one of them. I want to occupy every minute of 24 hours in a day doing something active, progressing and enlightening to do good to humanity.

“Eight of my children have Ph.D. and I told two of them that when I have difficulty, I will call them to teach me. This is important to me because the knowledge I would acquire will be mine, so there is no shame in learning and if I do well, the credit goes to those who taught me,” he further said.

He urged his supervisors to be patient with him in the area of timing and pleaded with the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Vincent Ado Tenebe, his three supervisors and dean of the school, to treat him as “Student Olusegun Obasanjo.”

Obasanjo registered in Lagos today for the PHD programme.

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