The latest PhD holder in town, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, may be an enigmatic personality whose politics and letter writing skills always divide public opinion. Nevertheless, there is an aspect of him about which all Nigerians, even his harshest critics, are unanimous: the indomitable quest for excellence.

In November 2006, just few months to the end of his two-term Presidency, the then President Obasanjo did the unexpected by enrolling for a postgraduate diploma programme at the National Open University (NOUN). Everyone thought it was a fluke, an attention-seeking plot by the seemingly unpredictable old soldier.

By June 2007, a month after handing over power to his successor, we learnt that Obasanjo was taking his studies seriously. From all indications, it was not a joke and Baba was in school really, working hard on his studies.

In January 2009, we learnt he graduated. Congratulations! During the convocation ceremony then, the NOUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, described the former President as “a shining example of how seriously a student should take his learning. Like everybody, he sat for all the examinations using anonymous matriculation numbers….”

Subsequently, in September 2014 precisely, news hit the airwaves again that Obasanjo was returning to school for his Master’s degree and PhD. His reason for doing that was stated by him: “I’m going back to school because I have to have something to aspire to in every endeavor of life.” As he told “Premium Times” further then, “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.”

In January 2016, Obasanjo was among the graduands at the fifth convocation ceremony of NOUN. While speaking at the convocation, the Vice-Chancellor then, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, noted that “having been given admission to study MA/PhD in Christian Theology, Obasanjo will continue with his PhD fully.”  Prof. Tenebe noted further that the achievement was “very unique considering his age and commitments” while remarking that the graduand, Obasanjo, made “a very good cumulative grade point.”

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10 Responses

  1. Lawal Abdulmajeed

    The former president Olusegun Obasanjo has indeed showed that age shouldn’t be a barrier for you to achieve your dreams.
    As the title of the article says “Be Inspired by Obasanjo”, this is an open call to everyone one out there to note that is never to late to start building on your dreams
    Be like Obasanjo, don’t give up early in life!!

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  2. Lawal Abdulmajeed Temitayo

    The former president Olusegun Obasanjo has indeed showed that age shouldn’t be a barrier for you to achieve your dreams.
    As the title of the article says “Be Inspired by Obasanjo”, this is an open call to everyone one out there to note that is never to late to start building on your dreams
    Be like Obasanjo, don’t give up too early in life

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  3. Lawal Abdulmajeed

    The former president Olusegun Obasanjo has indeed showed that age shouldn’t be a barrier for you to achieve your dreams.
    As the title of the article says “Be Inspired by Obasanjo”, this is an open call to everyone one out there to note that is never to late to start building on your dreams
    Be like Obasanjo, don’t give up too early in life

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  4. Olympus Ade-Banjo

    What the former President may mean a spiral of things to a vast diversity of spectators but the Most prevalent for me is the message He wants to pass to Nigerians that ‘STUDENTS’ is not the same as ‘CHILDREN’ and so Tertiary Institution should create an Learning environment where any Citizens irrespective of Age and Status should learn comfortably without their self dignity undermined.

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  5. Joshua Deborah OPEYEMI

    Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo had always been a source of inspiration to many including me, I can remember the good things he did while he was in power, hardly have I ever heard all his bad attitudes when he was the President of Nigeria. Obasanjo was said to be a son of a good woman who prayed for him till he reached his peak of greatness. It was during his time that a move was made over Nigeria debts, he even implemented a law “Debt forgiveness” ,where by He practically confessed that Nigeria can’t pay back all those debts but rather, we should be forgiven and the debts cancelled. It was done and from there Nigeria started saving up her excesses. He also made a move over telecommunications, and many more things
    So if a man who had inspired me this much can earn his ph.d, then what should stop me from pursuing my own career to the very peak

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  6. Adeyeye Adebusola

    Dreams become reality through determination, staying focused and motivated. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo accomplished his desires through determination, he was focused and he didn’t give up on himself. Nothing should stop anyone from achieving his or her dreams. Don’t get distracted, be inspired.

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  7. Olamikun

    Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has demonstrated that there is no age limit when it comes to education. I am indeed impressed Baba! His passion and drive towards reinventing himself even after accomplishing so many great things is indeed remarkable! Perharps in the long run, his achievements would encourage the youth to pursue their educational dreams to the highest possible level irrespective of their age or background.

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  8. Suleiman abdulwaheed olamilekan

    The former president olusegun obasanjo has really lay the foundation for the young ones that age is not a shortcoming for you to succed in life… Will really hope we the young ones follow the legacy been layer down.

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  9. Kayode Ayoola

    The former president has indeed backed up the saying that goes “it isn’t how far but how well”. It’s never too late to achieve anything in life as long as you set your mind at it. Think, Believe and never give up.

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