Everyone loves to read about successful people. Today let’s look at the life of one of the most influential Africans, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.
We’ll be looking at his life, biography, family life, age and secrets of success. Our opinion is not to make him look good or bad (every human is good and all of us are bad)
Introduction to Obasanjo’s Life
Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo was born on Ifo Market day in Ibogun-Olaogun in what was then Abeokuta Province of 1930s colonial Nigeria.
Obasanjo joined the Nigerian Army in 1958. He served in the United Nation Peacekeeping Mission in Congo between 1960-1961 and rose to become the General Officer Commanding the Third Marine Commando Division of the Nigeria Army, which ended the 30 month Nigeria Civil War started.
After the war, Obasanjo resumed his duties as the commander of the Nigeria Army Corps Of Engineers. He was appointed Federal Commissioner (Minister) for work in the Gowon Administration, and was appointed Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters in this way becoming the number two man in the government hierarchy after the change of government in 1975.
General Obasanjo served as Head of State of the Federal Military Government and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces from 1976-1979 following the assassination of Gen. Murtala Muhammed in a failed putsch.
He handed over to a civilian regime in 1979 and retired to private life of farming.
As a statesman he was called upon by the international community, in one instance to serve as co-chair of the commonwealth Eminent Persons’ Group consulted work on negotiated settlement for the ending of the South Africa Apartheid policy in 1985. He was also candidate for the office of Secretary General of the United Nation in 1991.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a fearless critic of bad government in Africa and particularly in Nigeria, was jailed after the “Phantom Coup” trail in 1995 by the Abacha Military Regime.
He emerged from prison in 1998 and became a candidate for the presidency in the run-up to the military handover to a democratic civilian administration. He won the election and was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigerian on May 29 1999.
He stepped down from the presidency in 2007 at the end of his second term and returned to his farm. He still serves the international community in several capacities. He is currently the chief promoter of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Olusegun Obasanjo’s Books
Chief Obasanjo has authored several books, significant amongst them, My Command, about his experiences in the Nigeria Civil War; Not My Will, about his service of the nation as military Head of State, This Animal Called Man, written during his time as a political prisoner and Nzeogwu, about his friend and key figure in January 1966 coup. My Watch, his latest memoir promises to join the other books as odes to a life of service to God, humanity and country.
Obasanjo’s Early Life and Education
Olusegun Obasanjo was born in middle class and polygamous family, when he born ifa oracle was consulted at his birth to foresee the type of child he would be.
It was said he would grow up to be a man of high and wide reputation and fame (Omo Olokiki). His mother was also warned to scold him mildly if he should offend her because if he felt strongly offended his spirit was capable of preventing the blessing that would have been hers.
He wondered if these superstitions, true predictions or prophecies?
When the church in his village was being expanded and re-roofed, his father worked hard to raise funds for the early completion of the expansion and re-roofing programme. He was practically given out for indentured labour to raise funds for the programme.
After the completion of the programme, special prayer was said for my father and for him for his commitment to build the house of God. Some people believed that with success in life has something to do with these two points. The Ifa oracle’s divination and the special prayer of the Baptist Church in our village.
Growing up as a boy his first controversy is solving the puzzle of his date of birth which, he found difficult to solve. The revelation by his mother that he over stayed in her womb was not the last twist his date of birth. In 1951, when he was about to take the entrance examination for admission to Baptist Boy’ High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, he was tipped off by my cousin, Oluwole Adebayo, that if he was more than twelve years of age, he would be regarded as too old and would in this way forfeit my admission.
Because he was refused couples of time based on his stature, way back then, your right or left hand must be able to touch your hear through your head.
When He was in Indian on a military training course in 1965, He thought that the Indian astrologers and palmist could solve the riddle of his unknown real birth day. He visit them with the sole purpose of knowing his real age, they told him about longevity and minor accidents in his later life.
That was not what he wanted to hear. But since that was the best they could do, He had to give up in the hope that some time before He die, biomedical science and technology would develop to the extent that age dating would possible, as DNA is breaking new ground on everything about humanity’s past and structure.
He made good progress in his schooling at Ibogun Sowunmi. The school started from class 1C and ended at Standard 2. It used to take six years to go from Class 1C to standard 2, with one year each in Classes 1C, 1B, 1A, 2, Standard 1 and Standard 2.
As he was fairly grown up before he was admitted (and because i had received some major night lessons from Lawani, who lived just behind my father’s house), He started his school from Class 1B instead of 1C. after one year, Obasanjo was promoted to Class 1A.
At the end of the 1A year, He had double promotions, so he escape Class 2 to go standard 1. From standard 1 he took the common entrance examination with standards 2 students going into a new school called Ibogun United School at Egbeda. Schools from Sowunmi, Odejinmi, Osungboye, Alapako, and Ibogun contributed students from Standard 2 to Ibogun United for standard 3.
Olusegun Aremu passed the examination and came in second place overall among the five contributing schools. (what dropped me to the second position was my inability to spell “Shokoloko Bangoshay” correctly in the spelling examination.) thereafter moved from Sowunmi to Egbeda.
He was attended Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta for his secondary school education. Olusegun Obasanjo did very well in his time at his secondary school days but unfortunately he was unable to further his education to the university level due to his family financial circumstances.
At age twenty 21 Olusegun Obasanjo was enlisted in the Nigerian army olusegun attended that for the period of six month with a short service he rendered. Olusegun Obasanjo went further for his army training in different college and also went for school of survey in London and India
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Marriages
Olusegun Obasanjo got married four times which the wives are no more, one of the wives is Stella Abebe which was deceased October 23rd 2005. President Olusegun Obasanjo lost his wife Stella Obasanjo, the first lady of Nigeria which is the day he had an Abdominoplasty in spain.
In the year 2009 Stella Obasanjo’s doctor was sentenced to one year in jail for negligence in Spain and ordered to pay the ransom of $176,000 to her son.
In 1987 he got married to another woman called Lynda. Lynda Obasanjo was ordered out of her car by armed gun men and was shot fatally for failing to move quickly.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo other wives are Esther Oluremi and Mojisola Adekunle.
Olusegun Obasanjo’s Children
Olusegun Obasanjo have about twenty four children which are Bisoye, Biyi, Damola, Bukola, Busola, Dare ,Dayo, Deboye Olu, Segun, Seun, Toyosi, Junwo , Kofo, Iyabo, Funke ,Funso ,Gbenga, Kunle, one of Olusegun Obasanjo son Dare was a principal at program manager at Microsoft. In addition olusegun also hold chieftancy titles in yorubaland which are Balogun Of Owu Land and the Ekerin of Balogun clan in yorubaland
Aremu’s Military Service
Olusegun obasanjo served the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian army in Kaduna and Cameroon between the period of 1958 and 1959 after being promoted to chief of Army Engineer ,later he was made the commander of 2 Area command in July 1967,which he was later redesignated 2 Division. Olusegun obasanjo has also served the united nation peacekeeping Force in Congo
Olusegun obasanjo took over the Nigerian Civil war which he command the Army of 3Marine commando Division that took owerri , effectively which olusegun obasanjo bring an to the civil war. During the year 1976 on the 13th of February, coup plotter led by army Col. Dimka marked him which caused a coup and this led to death of Murtala but Obasanjo escaped.
Later General Obasanjo was later appointed as the Head Of the State by the Military Council which made olusegun obasanjo to make a pledge to continue the program for the restoration of the civilian government in 1979. He accepted the biafrans surrender ending Nigerian civil war on the 12th of January 1970
Later in the year 1975,General Yakubu Gowon, appointed Obasanjo as the commissioner for work and housing, this means to oversees the development of houses,roads, electrical and street lighting in the country including the oil boom.
The military regime of obasanjo benefited a lot from the oil sector and the oil revenues that has increased and this made government to spend more on the infrastructure and the improvement on a large scales and have a thought to concentrate on the poorly rural urban areas ,the oil boom was marred by minor recession .which the ratio of the oil was shared when they relocate the capital of Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja
Obasanjo reduced the share of oil ratio to 50 to 30 percent as the Head of state. Obasanjo invested more in infrastructure and other production like soap and detergent, soft drinks ,pharmaceutical beer ,paint, and building materials.Olusegun obasanjo also invested on heavy steel production in Ajaokuta in Kogi State not far from Abuja.
General Obasanjo and 1976 Military Coup
On 13 February 1976, coup plotters, led by Army Col. Dimka, marked him, Murtala and other senior military personnel for assassination. Murtala was killed during the attempted coup, but Obasanjo escaped death.
The low profile security policy adopted by Murtala had allowed the plotters easy access to their targets. The coup was foiled because the plotters missed Obasanjo and General Theophilus Danjuma, chief of army staff and de facto number three man in the country.
The plotters failed to monopolize communications, although they were able to take over the radio station to announce the coup attempt.
Obasanjo and Danjuma established a chain of command and re-established security in Lagos, thereby regaining control. Obasanjo was appointed as head of state by the Supreme Military Council.
Keeping the chain of command established by Murtala, Obasanjo pledged to continue the programme for the restoration of civilian government in 1979 and to carry forward the reform programme to improve the quality of public service.
Obasanjo and Handing Over to The Civilian Rule
He handed power to shehu shagari on 1 october in 1979 on a democratically elected civilian president which was peacefully transferred to civilian regime in Nigeria.
Olusegun Obasanjo came to power in 1999 and most Nigerians have doubt about him that he may not steer Nigeria up to a better place that he will also be like the other presidents like shehu shagari who promised all sort and failed to do them
Obasanjo was accused of being responsible for political repression. In one particular examples ,the house of one Nigerian Musician and political Activist was raided and burn to ground after member had an issue with the military personnel.
On that very day Fela Kuti and his family was beaten and his mother was rapped. The political activist Ransome Kuti was killed and thrown from the window, which her coffins was carried to Obasanjo barracks as a protest.
Olusegun obasanjo was imprisoned during the dictatorship of Sanni Abacha between the period of e1993—1998 five years interval
General Obasanjo spoke against the human right abuses of his regime and was later imprisoned for participating in an aborted coup which was based on the testimony of via torture
Obasanjo was later released due to the sudden death of Sanni Abacha on the 8th of June 1998 while Obasanjo was in imprisoned he later became born again Christian,whereby he gives his life to Christ.
In the year 1999 presidential election Obasanjo ran on the platform of PDP, people democratic party which defeated the Olu Falae of APP and AD party.
Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo ran on the same platform for presidential election which was won by him by eleven million votes.
During the dictatorship of Sani Abacha (1993–1998), Obasanjo spoke out against the human rights abuses of the regime, and was imprisoned for alleged participation in an aborted coup based on testimony obtained via torture. He was released only after Abacha’s sudden death on 8 June 1998. While in prison, Obasanjo became a born-again Christian.
Recollecting his experience during the trial of the coup, Obasanjo says “My saddest day was when I sat in front of a military panel set up by late former Head of State, Sani Abacha to try me over a phantom coup, and sentenced to death and later commuted to 30 years imprisonment.”
Obasanjo’s Chieftaincy tittles
In addition to a variety of chieftaincy titles, Obasanjo has the titles of the Balogun of Owu and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.
- Olusegun Obasanjo mother Ashabi died in 1958 and his father Amos Adigun obasanjo Bankole also died in 1959. Olusegun Obasanjo became an orphan when he was at age 22. This predicament never draw him back but port him ahead in his endeavor and made him a soul survivor.
- when he was about to take the entrance examination for admission to Baptist Boy’ High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, he was tipped off by his cousin,(Oluwole Adebayo,) that if he was more than twelve years of age, he would be regarded as too old and would in this way forfeit his admission. Because he was refused couples of time based on his stature, way back then, your right or left hand must be able to touch your hear through your head
- During the dictatorship of Sani Abacha(1993–1998), Obasanjo spoke out against the human rights abuses of the regime, and was imprisoned for alleged participation in an aborted coup based on testimony obtained via torture. He was released only after Abacha’s sudden death on 8 June 1998. While in prison, Obasanjo became a born-again Christian.
- October 23rd 2005 Olusegun Obasanjo lost his wife Stella Obasanjo , the first lady of Nigeria which is the day he had an Abdominoplasty in spain.in the year 2009 the doctor was only know as AM and was sentenced to one year in jail for negligence in Spain and ordered to pay the ransom of $176,000 to her son.
- This most challenging part and dilemma he never solve till date, was his date of birth. He couldn’t jot down his real birth