Why I Don’t Want To Be Called ‘Matthew’- Obasanjo



Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, has implied that he stopped bearing the name ‘Matthew’, which was given to him by his parents, due to its biblical meaning.

Speaking at an event organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Obasanjo explained that he jettisoned the name because Matthew as a biblical character, was ‘a tax collector’.

“When I was born, my mother and father decided to name me Matthew. I grew up being called and addressed Matthew. What is the meaning of Matthew in the Bible? He was a tax collector.

“So, when I grew up, I dropped Matthew from my name. If anyone does not want to see my eyes red, no one should call me Matthew again. People ask, what is in a name? For me, there is so much in a name,” he said.

The former leader urged the engineers to be diligent and always strive for perfection as their profession gives no room for imperfection.

“A doctor’s mistake often leads to the death of one patient.

“A lawyer’s mistake leads to the client going to jail. But if an engineer makes a mistake that leads to the collapse of a bridge or house, many people would lose their lives.

“That is why engineers must be very careful and must be efficient not to allow mistakes to be made,” he said.


  • Bola Kougbe
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