The ex-president insisted on not being referred to as the bible character who was a tax collector in his days.
The ex-leader said this in an event organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in celebration of his 80th birthday, Vanguard News reports.
He suggested in a speech that he removed Matthew from his name because the original bible 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.
Obasanjo is best remembered for his assertive style of leadership which saw him handle with competence most of the problems prominent in his era as a democratic leader.
Some Nigerians have even said that the Boko Haram insurgency which began in the north east won't have advanced to an alarming level if he was still president.