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Eight of my children are PhD holders – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that he has eight children who are doctorate degree holders.

Obasanjo himself has a doctorate in Theology from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

He said that although he has more male children than female, more of his female children have PhD degrees.

Obasanjo disclosed this at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, on Thursday while addressing women at the 14th annual lecture of the Women in Management, Business and Public Service.

He said he gave more women opportunities in his government and encouraged more women to actively participate in politics.

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The former president noted that men were responsible for keeping women out of positions of responsibility in politics, and urged women to ensure they are not kept in the dark in the running of the affairs of their nation.

Obasanjo stated that his first daughter, Iyabo, could never be silenced by anyone as he has imbibed confidence in her.

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Speaking on why women take marginal roles in politics, he said, “ It is out of the selfishness of our men ; they will look for anything to keep women under and look at the sort of things that we do.

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“I had two girls before I had a boy. I had thought that I would never have a boy before I had a boy. But it doesn’t matter who you are in our own family… My first child, my daughter (Iyabo ) will not take nonsense from you. And you try it; you would be put in your place. It doesn’t matter; you may be 10 times her height, she will bring you down . ( It is) because I give them the encouragement and you heard , eight of my children have PhDs. I have slightly more boys than girls but I have more girls with PhD than boys.”

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The former president highlighted the enviable performances of his Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Director -General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili, as proof that women are equal to men and would perform well if given more opportunities.

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