History of Nigeria will never be complete without the mention of a prominent man, Former Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
So this article will be guiding us in all we need to know about the former President.
Born on 5th March 1937, Chief Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo was born in Ibogun-Olaogun area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. His father; Amos Adigun Obasanjo Bankole, and mother; Ashabi Obasanjo. He attended St. David Ebenezer School, Abeokuta in 1948 upon graduation was admitted to the Baptist Boys’ High School, Abeokuta from 1952 – 1957.
Year after his graduation in 1958, he lost his mother. It was tragic for him as his father left him at 22 to becoming an orphan in 1959. He was enrolled in the Nigerian Army in 1958 and had his military education both in England and India after his education, he became an Army Officer of Nigeria and was sent on a peacekeeping mission by the UN, in Congo under the Engineering Unit as a Lieutenant in 1960.
In 1963, Chief Obasanjo promoted to captain rank and was sent to an Indian Military Engineering School in Kirkee, India before moving to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, in India.
In 1965, he came to the Defence Services Staff College, which is in Wellington, India as a Major.
In the year 1967, he was made the Lieutenant Colonel and he was made the commander of the 3rd Marine Commando Division in Ibadan that led the troops in South East of the nation during the Biafran Civil War that lasted for 30 months (1967-1970).
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was made a Colonel with different divisions under him.
Under the leadership General Yakubu Gowon as the Head of State, he was appointed the Commissioner of Works and Housing in 1975 and also the Chief of Staff in the Supreme Headquarters by General Murtala Ramat Mohammed who overthrown Gowon that same year.
A year later (January 1976) he was appointed the Lieutenant General.
On the 13th of February 1976, Obasanjo escaped a planned coup led by Col. Dimka that killed General Murtala Mohammed and was made the Head of State which he ruled till 1979 before handing over power to Civilian Government and Shehu Shagari was elected as the President, making him the first military ruler In Africa to hand over power to Civilian Government
Obasanjo went back to Ota to establish his Otta farm and engage more in writing books till 1988 where he founded the African Leadership Forum.
In 1995, he was sentenced to life imprisonment over a plotted coup against General Sani Abacha but was at last handed 15 years in Jail after the intervention of some elites like the German, Helmut Schmidt, Jimmy Carter (former US President) and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. He was later released following the death of Sani Abacha in 1998. He contested and won the Presidential election and was made the President on the 29th of May 1999.
During his term as the President, he fought against white minority leadership in some African countries which gave him international honor. He supported some African countries with military allies and economic support. He firmly criticized the harsh leadership of Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
In 2003, he was re-elected for the second term after winning General Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2006, Olusegun Obasanjo proposed for the amendment of the constitution to enable him to run for the third term as a President but it was rejected by the senate before Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua succeeded him and became the President of Nigeria on 29th May 2007.
He went back to his Otta farm after handing over power, he enrolled at the National Open University of Nigeria and got his Ph.D. degree in Theology after acquiring his masters on the same course on December 2017.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Wives.
Esther Oluremi Obasanjo (ex-wife).
Lynda Obasanjo (deceased).
Stella Obasanjo (deceased).
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Children.
The former Head of State has a total number of 20 children which Senator Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo is the oldest and also Lieutenant Colonel Adebayo Obasanjo who is at the Third Division Jos.