Vice Chancellor of the University, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who will on Saturday be conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Theology, as a humble learner, who was committed to his doctoral programme.
Speaking at a pre-convocation conference last Monday, Adamu stated that the Senate of the university has approved that Obasanjo be awarded a doctorate degree in Christian Theology at its seventh convocation to be held in Abuja.
He said a total of 14,769 students from various Faculties would receive certificates, diplomas, bachelor degrees, postgraduate diplomas, masters and PhD degrees.
He added that the convocation lecture, entitled “Restructuring and True Federalism,” would be delivered by the Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Edo State, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, tomorrow.He further assured that the ceremony would be historical, first, for graduating the largest number of students at the same time in the history of university education in Nigeria.
“The second reason why this convocation will be very historical, is the fact that we are graduating first PhD candidate. Despite the fact that the university has been in existence all these years, we have not been able to produce PhDs.
“Obasanjo is former President of Nigeria who started his PhD programme first. He did all the examination that the PhD student is supposed to do. He did his proposal and Thesis defence and the university Senate approved his result last week Thursday.
He continued, “The PhD is very important to us for two reasons. One, you are never too old to learn. Former President Obasanjo was about 80 years old when he started the PhD programme. He has finished it this year when he is about 81 or 82. An 81 or 82-year-old man doing PhD prgamme is a clear message that no one is too old to learn. It is also a message that nobody is too powerful to learn.
“This is because Obasanjo was a former Head of State of this country and an elected President, with international reputation all over the world, yet, he subjected himself to the rigours of academic work and acquired a doctorate degree.”
Adamu revealed that based on Obasanjo sterling example, the university has received several applications from other older people to come to study at the university.
He also announced that the university has offered scholarship up to PhD level for all inmates in Nigerian prisons who possess qualification and are willing to acquire university education. He disclosed that while two inmates would be graduating on Saturday from the Enugu Study Centre, over 400 other inmates are currently pursuing their studies across prisons in Nigeria.