Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, is set to go back to school for a higher degree in Christian Theology.
Mr. Obasanjo will on Tuesday formally enrol as a graduate student at the headquarters of the National Open University of Nigeria in Lagos.
Having obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in 2009, Mr. Obasanjo will now be working towards a doctorate degree, beginning first with a Masters degree, an associate of the former president told PREMIUM TIMES.
When contacted Monday night, Mr. Obasanjo confirmed he was returning to school.
He said it was important for him to make some commitments towards achieving his aspirations in life.
“I’m going back to school because I have to have something to aspire to in every endeavour of life,” Mr. Obasanjo told PREMIUM TIMES. “I always aspire to something new in my farm. I do that in my international activities. I do it in my writing. I do it in the improvement of my academic work which helps to sharpen my brain and strengthen my faith.”
When asked how he was going to cope combining his studies with his tight international engagements, Mr. Obasanjo said he would take advantage of the flexibility of the National Open University’s system.
“Fortunately, the Open University is flexible enough and I will definitely be able to cope. I was able to cope when I did the Post Graduate. I was also busy during the period,” he said.
The National Open University was initially established in 1983 but was suspended by the then military government in 1984. Mr. Obasanjo resuscitated it in 2001.
In November 2006, a few months to the end of his eight-year tenure, the then president enrolled for a post graduate diploma in Christian Theology at the university.
He graduated in January 2009.
At the graduation ceremony, the then Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olagbemiro Jegede, described Mr. Obasanjo as a hardworking student.
”As a student, Obasanjo vigorously pursued his studies on full time basis…He is a shinning example of how seriously a student should take his learning. Like everybody, he sat for all the examinations using anonymous matriculation numbers, and by our internal quality control and security-proof control measures, his papers were marked by different tutors located in some of our study centres including Damaturu, Minna and Yenagoa,” Mr. Jegede said.
Born on March 5, 1937, Mr. Obasanjo attended Abeokuta Baptist High School; Mons Officers’ Cadet School, Aldershot, England; Royal College of Military Engineering, Chatham, England and School of Survey, Newbury, England.
He also attended the British Royal Engineers’ Young Officers School, Shrivenham, England; Indian Defence Staff College; Indian Army School of Engineering and Royal College of Defence Studies, London.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Army in 1958.
He was Nigeria’s Head of State between 1976 and 1979 when he voluntarily handed over to a civilian administration led by Shehu Shagari. In 1999, he was elected president. His tenure expired in 2007.