The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has attributed the institution’s naming of its Good Governance and Development Research Centre after former President Olusegun Obasanjo to his contributions to the revival and sustenance of the school.
NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu, told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, ahead of the inaugural lecture of the Centre, that Obasanjo resuscitated the school in 2003, decades after it was suspended due to logistics problems.
His words: “His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo is a former president. He was the president who resuscitated the university after it was suspended in 1984 as a result of logistics problems. The university was resuscitated in 2003, we feel instead of just calling it Centre for Good Governance, we should name it after him and he graciously agreed and accepted.
“Then, like Oliver Twist, we also kindly requested his indulgence to deliver the first inaugural lecture of this centre and he agreed. He is also the first person to do this particular lecture because he is a student of this university and he is currently doing his Ph.D. in Theology and he has almost completed his proposal stage.
“He is also a role model because this is 80-year old plus individual, who is studying for a degree, he is not studying for the degree because he needs job or money, he is doing it for the sake of knowledge.”
Speaking on the inaugural lecture, the Director of the Centre, Prof Abdullahi Shehu, said that the event which is scheduled for May 2, 2017, in Abuja, would attract prominent dignitaries including President Muhammadu Buhari, ex-Ghanaian President, John Mahama, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mariam Muktar, ministers, among others.
According to Shehu, the lecture which is aimed at deepening democracy and contribute to nation building would see the former president speaking on the topic, “Leadership, governance and the challenges of development in Nigeria: the way forward.”