Again, by late last year, the photographs of Obasanjo as he was defending his PhD did trend for some time on the social media and it was clear he had completed his PhD work. Then, on January 20, 2018, at the seventh convocation ceremony of NOUN, Dr Obasanjo emerged one of its first PhD graduands. So, since he registered in 2006, Dr Obasanjo in spite of his several commitments did not look back until he got his PhD!
The reason for narrating the educational journey of the arguably most accomplished Nigerian is to show that education is a life-long activity that cannot be constrained by age. There is no time one cannot return to school, even in one’s 80’s.
There is something intriguing and impressive about someone as great and accomplished as Chief Obasanjo going through the stage-by-stage process of advanced learning till he reached the pinnacle. There is something fundamental that the young and the old should learn in terms of pursuing one’s academic goals with determination and purposefulness.
Well, the journey to having a PhD would not have been easy for the former President, who was used to giving orders and giving directives. However, with determination and commitment, he crossed the hurdles, endured the challenges at each stage and the world was watching. He didn’t just wake up one day to graduate; he was following a process till he completed it.
Dr Olusegun Obasanjo is the biggest evidence that age and status are no barriers to education. That one is too old to go school has been proved false and the onus is on everyone to appreciate that a life that is not nourished by continuous learning is dead, even if not buried.
In a country like ours where role models are not many in the public domain, Dr Olusegun Obasanjo has challenged us to seek, to yearn and know more. More importantly, he has also demonstrated that the essence of education is not for mere material purposes like getting a job and gaining a promotion. The essence of education, in Obasanjo’s own words, is to sharpen our brains and strengthen our faith. This means that higher learning is a nourishment for the soul and he whose soul is not nourished and mind not broadened is practically dead.
So, be inspired by Obasanjo.