From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has been cleared by the management of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), to be awarded a doctorate degree on Christian Theology, at its seventh convocation scheduled for the weekend, at NOUN headquarters, in Abuja.
The former president enrolled in the programme few years ago and has been consistent with his studies, having completted all the tasks and other academic responsibilities expected of him.
NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, who announced the development at a pre-convocation press conference in Abuja, yesterday, said outstanding the academic performance of 41 students earned them first class degrees, as against 12 who graduated with the same class of degree last year.
Said Prof. Adamu: “One of the graduands is the first PhD graduate the institution will produce; a university must graduate students at academic Masters Level before graduating PhD. Only one candidate has been able to do that and that is Obasanjo; the Senate has found him worthy of the award and approved the conferment of PhD on him.
“There are lessons to be learnt from Obasanjo’s feat–one is never too old to learn; Obasanjo was about 80 years when he started the programme and has finished it at 82.
“Again, one is never too powerful to learn; he was the president twice and yet, subjected himself to learning; learning is a humbling process. We will consider him for the post of a facilitator or supervisor; maybe for our Abeokuta Study Centre; we will suggest it to him,’’ he said.
The school also announced that 14, 771 graduates, including two prisoners from Enugu, have been found worthy in character and learning, to be awarded different classes of degree, having successful completed their academic programmes. He disclosed that the school management has also agreed to give preferential treatment to the two prisoners, due to their peculiar condition “because they won’t be allowed to join other people at the convocation ground. The school management has agreed to conduct a special graduation for them in Enugu Prison.”
He, however, announced that the Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, in Edo state, Prof Eghosa Osagae, will deliver the convocation lecture on Friday, preparatory to convocation which will hold on Saturday.