Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday denounced his Christian name, Matthew, saying he should no more be called by it because he is not a tax collector like his biblical namesake.
According to him, he adopted only Olusegun Okikiola Aremu as his names, even as he noted that names have lots of connotations in African setting.
He said, while his decision was borne out of the fact that Matthew in the Bible was known as a stupid tax collector, anybody who does not want to see his (Obasanjo’s) eyes red should stop calling him Matthew.
He stated this in Abuja at an event organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in commemoration of his 80th birthday celebration in Abuja.
Obasanjo who clocked 80 years in March this year said, “When I was born in my part of Nigeria, the system was that after eight days, you must be given a name and for people to know that you were born into a Christian family, you will be given one Hebrew name.
“My mother and father decided to name me Matthew but when I grew up, I started asking myself the meaning of Matthew. Not only does it not have meaning as long as I am concerned, the biblical Matthew is a stupid tax collector. Anybody who does not want to see my eyes red should stop calling me Matthew”.