Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has enrolled for a Master of Arts (MA) and PhD degrees at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He registered to study Christian Theology in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Vincent Tenebe stated that although admission and registration in universities were not usually announced or celebrated, but for a special case like this, it is allowed. Obasanjo however urged the management of the institution to treat him like any other student. Although he said he recognised the role of courtesy in his case, but he said he would be more comfortable being treated like an ordinary student.
The 77-year-old explained why he decided to register at NOUN when he first did years ago.
“Primary, to acquire knowledge, particularly in Christian Theology, not because I want to be a pastor but rather, to know God more and be able to serve Him better.
“Secondly, I wanted to make a statement that no matter one’s age or position, there should be no barrier to continuous learning.
“Thirdly, I wanted to showcase this university, knowing full well that this country will at no foreseeable future be able to provide adequate access to millions of Nigerians who are yearning for knowledge,” he said.
Obasanjo, who graduated with the first group of students in January 2009, therefore called on Nigerians seeking for knowledge to consider enrolling at NOUN. He said NOUN is by no means inferior to the conventional universities.
He also urged the alumni of the university to try their best to support the school.
Tenebe commended Obasanjo for resuscitating NOUN, as part of numerous efforts by his administration to develop education in Nigeria. He described Obasanjo as a leader to be emulated for his quest to see Nigeria develop through the use of new technology in education.
Obasanjo’s enrolment in NOUN, according to Tenebe has boosted student population; which had increased from 16,000 in 2010 to 308,000 in 2014 with over 150,000 active students.
Tenebe pleaded with the federal government to start allowing NOUN law graduates for study at the Nigerian Law School. He also asked that other graduates of the university be allowed to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.