He also declared that all hope is not lost on Nigeria just as he noted that education remains the best tool to sustain good governance and democracy in the country.
Mr. Obasanjo spoke on Monday shortly after he was conferred alongside three others, with honourary Doctorate Degrees during the maiden convocation of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD, in Ekiti State.
Others are the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro; a businessman, Tunde Yusuf and UNESCO Deputy Director-General, Mrs. Lalla Barka.
The private university which was founded by legal luminary – Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) – commenced operation in January, 2010.
The former president, who commended Mr. Babalola for founding the university, said the hope of a better tomorrow was not lost.
His words, “I know that those who are thinking that Nigeria has no future will today have a change of heart. This is because one person, Chief Afe Babalola, has been able to make a difference in the field of education. This is an indication that hope is not lost on Nigeria.
“The other time, I heard Chief Afe Babalola saying that education is the best instrument to fight poverty. But I want to add that it remains the best instrument to sustain good governance and democracy”.
He tasked the graduating students on the need to be good ambassadors of the university.
“You have had a good beginning, having graduated from a good university. But this is not enough; you have to build on it. If you don’t, the good beginning becomes nothing,” he told the graduands.
Earlier, the founder of the university, Babalola described Obasanjo as the “best living Nigerian”.
“Obasanjo is one man who is usually misunderstood by many, and those who seem to understand him often end up misunderstanding him; whereas, he (Obasanjo) is a rare gift to Africa and a most dedicated Nigerian to the Nigerian cause.
“This is why I decided to name the major entrance road leading to this institution after him as well as consider him for honorary degree,” Babalola said.
Earlier, on Saturday, President Goodluck Jonathan had while commissioning the ultra-modern Engineering College building complex in the institution named after him, described Mr. Babalola’s vision for the education sector as ‘noble’.
The event was attended by dignitaries including former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore; ex-Ekiti State governors, Segun Oni and Ayo Fayose; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; and deputy governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Modupe Adelabu.