Obasanjo takes his first Ph.D lesson

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, had his first day in class as a Masters/Ph.d student of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.

The former president is studying for a Masters and Doctorate degree in Christian Theology.

The class which took place in Ota, Ogun State, was held with his internal supervisor, Philip Tachin, a lecturer in Systematic Theology and a pastor.

Mr. Obasanjo said he was optimistic that additional knowledge in Theology will help him understand how to use religion in the alleviation of problems that affect people at the grass roots generally but particularly in Africa.

After receiving an outline for the course, he was given his first assignment to review a number of literatures on the subject and to present a research paper for review.

Mr. Obasanjo obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in 2009.

The Masters degree will precede the Doctorate degree.

Last month, Mr. Obasanjo had told PREMIUM TIMES that he was returning to school to achieve 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 had said.
“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.”

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.

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.


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  • the ever envious ape,he wants to get P.hd just to rival GEJ

    • King Carlos

      Are u alright? Even if GEJ stays as Nigeria’s president for 300yrs, he can’t get close to Obasanjo’s achievement. Do u want to compare the government of Obasanjo farmer with shoeless GEJ with phd.

  • Charles Akin

    Ayobami, are you making any sense at all?

    • Na So

      Drugs are bad for Ayobami. I am very positive he his mentally incompetent

    • Please send this IMPORTANT MESSAGE to all who can do something about it:

      Like the U.K. Charity Commission, Nigeria needs to start prosecuting
      Religious Fraudsters. Also, Nigerian Officials must stop mixing Government with Religion

  • Rommel

    So from Post graduate diploma to Phd and no masters wow!

  • Chintua

    What is this confusion you journalists are creating? Did he enrol for masters or doctorate because there is no university that can enrol a Postgraduate Diploma holder into a PhD with masters degree. Why not just say he has enrolled for nasters degree instead of this sensational headline.

    • Maria

      It means your knowledge of the academic is limited. He must have had his first degree and then took a diploma in theology in order for him to be able to enrol for masters. I gained admission for my PhD with a first degree so it is not new. This kind of program entails you pass a one year rigorous coursework(equivalent to a masters degree) after which you will enrol for a 3 year research leading to the PhD.

      • Chintua

        Before you inform the whole universe that you have enrolled for a PhD or has a PhD degree which others do not have, I would like to remind you that nowadays, it is only people with first class degree (if it still exits in Nigeria) that enroll for PhD without masters and in most cases they have to enroll for MPhil/PhD. As a matter of fact, I do not even know of any Nigerian university where a masters programme is one year (perhaps the private universities that have been churning out first class degree holders in large numbers). Coursework only masters degree no longer exists as there must be a research component. As far as I know, you must complete the coursework before you go on with the research component or at least do both side by side and you cannot complete it in one year contrary to your assertion. So unless Obasanjo had a first class degree (which I am not sure of because those military institutes he attended were not degree-awarding then), he could not have been admitted to PhD degree in Theology. Remember he is an engineer. A final word, please be mindful of how you address people by claiming that you have a better or superior knowledge about something. We do not know the level each of us has attained in academic ladder.