Olusegun Obasanjo

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Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo 2014.jpg
Obasanjo in 2014
5th and 12th President of Nigeria
In office
29 May 1999 29 May 2007
Preceded by Abdulsalam Abubakar
Succeeded by Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
In office
13 February 1976 30 September 1979
Vice President Shehu Musa Yar'Adua
Preceded by Murtala Muhammed
Succeeded by Shehu Shagari as 1st elected President of Nigeria
Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources
In office
3rd Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters
In office
29 July 1975 13 February 1976
Preceded byVice-Adm. J.E.A Wey
Succeeded byMaj-Gen. S.M. Yar'Adua
Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing
In office
Personal details
Born (1937-03-05) 5 March 1937 (age 82)
Abeokuta, Western Region, British Nigeria
(now Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria)
Political party PDP (1999 – Feb. 2015)
Children Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello
Alma mater Mons Officer Cadet School
DSSC, India
Nickname(s)Baba, "OBJ" [1]
Website Official website
Military service
Nickname(s)Baba Africa
AllegianceFlag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Branch/serviceFlag of the Nigerian Army Headquarters.svg  Nigerian Army
Years of service1958–1979
Rank General
Battles/wars Nigerian Civil War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970) Congo Crisis (5 July 1960 – 25 November 1965)
"Colonel Olu Obasanjo, Commander, 3d division". New Nigerian newspaper page 7 January 1970. End of the Nigerian civil war with Biafra. Colonel Olu Obasanjo - ASC Leiden - Rietveld Collection - Nigeria 1970 - 1973 - 01 - 093 New Nigerian newspaper page 7 January 1970. End of the Nigerian civil war with Biafra (cropped).jpg
"Colonel Olu Obasanjo, Commander, 3d division". New Nigerian newspaper page 7 January 1970. End of the Nigerian civil war with Biafra.

Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, Ph.D. [2] ( /ˈbɑːsən/ ; Yoruba : Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ [olúʃɛ̙́ɡũ ɒ̙básandʒɒ̙́] ; [3] born 5 March 1937) is a former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state: He served as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. From July 2004 to January 2006, Obasanjo also served as Chairperson of the African Union. Obasanjo is the first Nigerian to serve as a military head of state and a civilian president.

Nigerian National Honours are a set of orders and decorations conferred upon Nigerians and friends of Nigeria every year. They were instituted by the National Honors Act No. 5 of 1964, during the First Nigerian Republic, to honour Nigerians who have rendered service to the benefit of the nation.

Yoruba is a language spoken in West Africa. The number of speakers of Yoruba is around 40 million. It is a pluricentric language spoken principally in Nigeria and Benin, with communities in Sierra Leone, Liberia, other parts of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The non-vernacular remains of the language in the Caribbean, Lucumi, is the liturgical language of the Santería religion of the region. Many Yoruba words are used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé. Yoruba language remants are also used in many other Afro-American religions in the Americas and the Caribbean. Yoruba is most closely related to the Itsekiri language and to Igala.


Early life

Olusegun Obasanjo was born on 5 March 1937 [4] to his father Amos Adigun Obaluayesanjo "Obasanjo" Bankole and his mother Ashabi in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. His mother died in 1958 and his father died in 1959. He became an orphan at the age of 22.

Abeokuta City in Ogun State, Nigeria

Abeokuta is the largest city and state capital of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. It is situated on the east bank of the Ogun River, near a group of rocky outcrops in a wooded savanna; 77 kilometres (48 mi) north of Lagos by railway, or 130 kilometres (81 mi) by water. As of 2006, Abeokuta and the surrounding area had a population of 449,088.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular state.

In 1948, Obasanjo enrolled into Saint David Ebenezer School at Ibogun, for his primary school education. From 1952 to 1957, he attended Baptist Boys' High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, for his secondary school education. [5] In the same school he was a member of Literary and Debating Society and the Boys Scouts Movement. [6]

Baptist Boys High School

Baptist Boys’ High School is a secondary school in Abeokuta, Ogun State, south-west Nigeria. It had a student body of 1100 students as of the 2011-12 academic year. The student population has decreased by almost half from the peak of 2155 in 1998-1999 academic year, partly in response to a concern about overcrowded facilities. BBHS is on its permanent site, Oke-Saje.

Military career

In 1958, Olusegun Obasanjo joined the Nigerian Army. Some of his studies and training included Mons Cadet School, Aldershot, England; Royal College of Military Engineers, Chatham, England; School of Survey, Newbury, England; College of Military Engineering, Poona; and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.

Nigerian Army Land warfare branch of Nigerias military

The Nigerian army (NA) is the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces, and is responsible for land warfare operations. It is governed by the Nigerian Army Council (NAC). It bears the brunt of the nation's security challenges, notably the Boko Haram insurgency.

Royal College of Defence Studies Training institute for senior officers of the Armed Forces and Civil Service in defence and international security matters.

The Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) instructs the most promising senior officers of the British Armed Forces, Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service and Civil Service in national defence and international security matters at the highest level, to prepare them for the top posts in their respective services. It forms part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, and is its most senior and prestigious component. In addition, there are many overseas attendees these days, who are close allied to the United Kingdom government.

Obasanjo served in the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna and in Cameroon between 1958 and 1959. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Nigerian Army in 1959 and promoted to a lieutenant in 1960.

As lieutenant, Obasanjo served in the Nigerian contingent of the United Nations Force in the Congo (formerly Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1960, in the same year he was one of the first Fifth Battalion to be selected for the Congo operations on account of its creditable performance in training and internal security exercises earlier in Southern Cameroun. [6] Obasanjo was promoted a temporary Captain in 1962, and went for a course at the Royal College of Military Engineering, Chatham, England. [6] He later joined the then only engineering unit of the Nigerian Army and became its unit commander in 1963.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

In 1963, Obasanjo was promoted to the rank of captain in the Nigerian Army. He was attached to the College of Military Engineering at Kirkee, India in 1965. That year, he was promoted to the rank of major.

In 1965, he attended the Defence Services Staff College Wellington, India (In a book, the 40th anniversary book on the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, 1947–1987, Col. R.D. Palsokar (retired) quoted the commandant's confidential report on the then Major Obasanjo of the 20th staff course set in 1965, as saying that he was "the best officer who was sent up till then from that country (Nigeria) to Wellington. Palsokar also stated: "He was particularly popular in all circles).

Obasanjo was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1967, appointed commander Second Area command of the Nigerian Army. He was made Commander, Garrison, Ibadan, Nigeria, between 1967 and 1969.

Obasanjo’s colonel promotion came in 1969. He was appointed from 1969–1970, general officer commanding 3rd Infantry Division, Nigerian Army. He was later made the commander, Third Marine Commando Division, South-Eastern State, during the Nigerian Biafran Civil War.

On 12 January 1970, Obasanjo accepted the Biafran surrender ending the Nigerian Civil War.

From 1970 to 1975, he was the commander of the Engineering Corps, Nigerian Army. Earlier in 1972, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.

In January 1975 the head of state for the federal republic of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, made Obasanjo the Federal commissioner for works and housing.

On 29 July 1975, when General Murtala Mohammed took power as head of state via a military coup, Obasanjo was appointed as the chief of staff supreme headquarters. In January 1976 he was promoted to lieutenant general.

Following a failed coup by Lt. Col. Buka Suka Dimka in which General Murtala Mohammed was killed, Obasanjo was chosen as head of state by the supreme military council on 13 February 1976.

Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka was a Nigerian Army officer who played a leading role in the February 13, 1976 abortive military coup against the government of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed. Dimka also participated in the Nigerian Counter-Coup of 1966 which toppled the government of General Aguiyi Ironsi.

Murtala Mohammed Nigerian politician and general

Murtala Rufai Ramat Muhammed was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.

Obasanjo resigned as head of state and also resigned from the army on 1 October 1979, handing over power to the newly elected civilian president of Shehu Shagari. [7]

Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing

In January 1975, General Yakubu Gowon appointed Obasanjo as the Federal commissioner for works and housing to oversee the development of housing, highways, roads, bridges, electrical and street lighting in the country following the oil boom.

Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters

In July 1975, General Murtala Mohammed took power as head of state via a military coup, Obasanjo was appointed as the chief of staff supreme headquarters.

The military coup of 13 February 1976

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.

Head of State (1976–79)

Obasanjo in 1978 Obasanjo 1978.gif
Obasanjo in 1978

Oil boom

The military regime of Obasanjo benefited from oil revenues that increased. Increased oil revenues permitted government spending for infrastructure and improvements on a large scale; critics thought it was poorly planned and concentrated too much in urban areas. The oil boom was marred by a minor recession in 1978–79. [8]

The government planned to relocate the federal capital from Lagos to Abuja, a more central location in the interior of the country. It intended to encourage industrial development inland and relieve the congestion in the Lagos area. Abuja was chosen because it was not identified with any particular ethnic group. [9]

However, as head of state, Obasanjo reduced the share of oil royalties and rents to state of origin from 50 to 30 percent. [10]


With US President Jimmy Carter in Lagos, 1978 Obasanjo Carter 2.gif
With US President Jimmy Carter in Lagos, 1978

Industrialisation, which had grown slowly after World War II through the civil war, boomed in the 1970s, despite many infrastructure constraints. Growth was particularly pronounced in the production and assembly of consumer goods, including vehicle assembly, and the manufacture of soap and detergents, soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, beer, paint, and building materials. The Obasanjo government invested strongly in infrastructure, and the number of "parastatals" — jointly government- and privately-owned companies — proliferated. The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion decrees of 1977 further encouraged the growth of an indigenous middle class.

Heavy investment was planned in steel production. With Soviet assistance, a steel mill was developed at Ajaokuta in Kogi State, not far from Abuja. Agriculture and associated projects generally declined, although the government undertook large-scale irrigation projects in the states of Borno, Kano, Sokoto, and Bauchi with World Bank support. [11]

Obasanjo and Jimmy Carter, US President Olusegun Obasanjo and Jimmy Carter-03.jpg
Obasanjo and Jimmy Carter, US President

The oil boom revenues led to a rise in per capita income, especially for the newly emerging urban middle class. Inflation, particularly in the price of food, promoted both industrialisation and the expansion of agricultural production. With the government encouraging food crops, the traditional export earners — peanuts, cotton, cocoa, and palm products — declined in significance and then ceased to be important at all. Nigeria's exports became dominated by oil.


Education also expanded under Obasanjo. At the start of the civil war, there were only five universities, but by 1975 the number had increased to thirteen, with seven more to be established over the next several years. In 1975 there were 53,000 university students. Similar advances were made in the expansion in primary and secondary school education, particularly in those northern states that had lagged behind others. During Obasanjo's regime, universal primary school education was introduced nationwide. [12]

Political repression

Obasanjo was also accused of being responsible for political repression. In one particular instance, the compound of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti was raided and burned to the ground after a member of his commune was involved in an altercation with military personnel. Fela and his family were beaten and raped and his aged mother, the political activist, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, was thrown from a window which resulted in fatal injury and eventually her death. Fela carried a coffin to the then Obasanjo's residence at Dodan barracks, Lagos as a protest against political repression. [13]

Transition to democracy

The second republican constitution, which was adopted in 1979, was modelled on the Constitution of the United States, with provision for a President, Senate, and House of Representatives. The country was prepared for local elections to be followed by national elections, in the hopes of returning Nigeria to civilian rule.

On 1 October 1979, Obasanjo handed power to Shehu Shagari, a democratically elected civilian president, hence becoming the first military head of state to transfer power peacefully to a civilian regime in Nigeria.


During the administration 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. [14] He was released only after Abacha's sudden death on 8 June 1998. While in prison, Obasanjo became a born-again Christian. [15]

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.” [16]


On August 22, 2005, the then governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, submitted a petition alleging corrupt practices against Obasanjo to the EFCC. [17]

Presidential campaigns and elections

1999 presidential elections

In the 1999 presidential elections, Obasanjo ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and defeated Chief Olu Falae, the joint candidate of the All Peoples Party, APP, and the Alliance for Democracy, AD.

2003 presidential elections

In 2003, President Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ ran for a second term under People's Democratic Party and won by a margin of more than 11 million votes.

Presidency (1999–2007)

First term

Olusegun Obasanjo and the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in 2005 LulaObasanjo.jpg
Olusẹgun Obasanjo and the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in 2005
Obasanjo with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin 6 March 2001-1.jpg
Obasanjo with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

In the 1999 elections, the first in sixteen years, Obasanjo decided to run for the presidency as the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Obasanjo won with 62.6% of the vote, [18] sweeping the strongly Christian Southeast and the predominantly Muslim north, but decisively lost his home region, the Southwest, to his fellow-Yoruba and Christian, Olu Falae, the only other candidate. 29 May 1999, the day Obasanjo took office as the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule, is now commemorated as Democracy Day, a public holiday in Nigeria. This was later changed to June 12 in honour of Chief M.K.O Abiola by the Muhammadu Buhari Administration in 2018. [19] During Democracy Day, Nigerians host celebratory dinners and festivals around the country, having fun with family, friends and plenty of food.

Obasanjo spent most of his first term travelling abroad. He succeeded in winning at least some Western support for strengthening Nigeria's nascent democracy. Britain and the United States, in particular, were glad to have an African ally who was openly critical of the abuses committed in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe at a time when many other African nations (including South Africa) were taking a softer stance. Obasanjo also won international praise for Nigeria's role in crucial regional peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The international community was guided in its approach to Obasanjo in part by Nigeria's status as one of the world's 10 biggest oil exporters as well as by fears that, as the continent's most populous nation, Nigerian internal divisions risked negatively affecting the entire continent.

Some public officials like the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate were involved in conflicts with the President, who battled many impeachment attempts from both houses. [20] Obasanjo managed to survive impeachment and was renominated.

Olusegun Obasanjo with Donald Rumsfeld at The Pentagon Obasanjo with rumsfeld.jpg
Olusẹgun Obasanjo with Donald Rumsfeld at The Pentagon

Second term

Seal of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Seal of the President of Nigeria.svg
Seal of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Obasanjo was re-elected in a tumultuous 2003 election that had violent ethnic and religious overtones. His main opponent, fellow former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari, was Muslim and drew his support mainly from the north. Capturing 61.8% of the vote, Obasanjo defeated Buhari by more than 11 million votes. [21]

In November 2003, Obasanjo was criticized for his decision to grant asylum to the deposed Liberian president, Charles Taylor. [22]

On June 12, 2006, he signed the Greentree Agreement with Cameroonian President Paul Biya which formally put an end to the Bakassi peninsula border dispute. [23] Even though the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution declaring that the withdrawal of Nigerian troops from the Bakassi Peninsula was illegal, Obasanjo gave the order for it to continue as planned. [24]

Oil revenue

With the oil revenue, Obasanjo created the Niger Delta Development Commission and implemented the Universal Basic Education Program to enhance the literacy level of Nigerians. He constituted both the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Resuscitated the National Fertilizer Company in Kaduna and (Onne) Port Harcourt. Obasanjo increased the share of oil royalties and rents to the state of origin from 3 to 13 percent. [25]

Economic growth and debt payment

Before Obasanjo's administration, Nigeria's GDP growth had been painfully slow since 1987, and only managed 3 percent between 1999/2000. However, under Obasanjo, the growth rate doubled to 6 percent until he left office, helped in part by higher oil prices. Nigeria's foreign reserves rose from $2 billion in 1999 to $43 billion on leaving office in 2007. He was able to secure debt pardons from the Paris and London club amounting to some $18 billion and paid another $18 billion to be debt free. Most of these loans were accumulated from short-term trade arrears during the exchange control period. (Point of correction). Most of these loans were accumulated not out of corruption but during a period 1982–1985 when Nigeria operated exchange control regime that vested all foreign exchange transactions on the central bank of Nigeria. The naira exchange rate to the US dollar and other major currencies during this period was highly regulated and artificially high. Nigerian importers paid local currency equivalent to the central bank through their local commercial banks but during the oil glut period of 1982–86 when foreign exchange was scarce the central bank did not have enough foreign exchange to pay for current imports. This resulted in short-term foreign trade payment arrears. Short-term trade arrears averaged about US $3.0 billion each year between 1983 and 1986 when the new military government of General Babangida floated the naira and imports were thereafter paid for on a current basis.

Nigeria stopped accumulating short-term foreign trade payment arrears beginning from 1986. Before then, yearly accumulation of around US $3.0 billion created the foreign debt for Nigeria. Subsequent growth of Nigeria's debt was due to interest on the previous year's stock of short-term trade debt owed to export credit agencies and non-insured creditors (Source:CBN Annual Reports 1983–1986. This information to refute the claim that corruption was the source of Nigeria's past foreign debt is supplied by Osarenren F. Asemota Former CBN Balance of Payment Staff).

Third term agenda

Obasanjo was embroiled in controversy regarding his "Third Term Agenda," a plan to modify the constitution so he could serve a third, four-year term as President. This led to a political media uproar in Nigeria and the bill was not ratified by the National Assembly. [26] [27] Consequently, Obasanjo stepped down after the April 2007 general election. [28] In an exclusive interview granted to Channels Television, Obasanjo denied involvement in what has been defined as "Third Term Agenda." He said that it was the National Assembly (Nigeria) that included tenure elongation amongst the other clauses of the Constitution of Nigeria that were to be amended. "I never toyed with the idea of a third term," Obasanjo said. [29]

Obasanjo was condemned by major political players during the Third Term Agenda saga. Senator Ken Nnamani, former President of the Nigerian Senate claimed Obasanjo informed him about the agenda shortly after he became President of the Nigerian Senate. “Immediately, I became Senate President, he told me of his intentions and told me how he wanted to achieve it. I initially did not take him seriously until the events began to unfold.” He also insinuated that Eight Billion Naira was spent to corrupt legislators to support the agenda. “How can someone talk like this that he didn’t know about it, yet money, both in local and foreign currencies, exchanged hands,” he asked. Femi Gbajabiamila corroborated Nnamani's account but put the figure differently, “The money totaled over N10 billion. How could N10bn be taken out of the national treasury for a project when you were the sitting President, yet that project was not your idea? Where did the money come from?” In the following quotes, Nnamani said President George W. Bush warned Obasanjo to desist from his plan to contest presidential election for the third term: “If you want to be convinced that the man is only telling a lie, pick up a copy of the book written by Condoleza Rice, the former Secretary to the Government of the United States of America. It is actually an autobiography by Rice. On page 628 or page 638, she discussed Obasanjo’s meeting with Bush, how he told the former American President that he wanted to see how he could amend the Constitution so that he could go for a third term. To his surprise, Bush told him not to try it. Bush told him to be patriotic and leave by May 29, 2007.” [30]


He became chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, with control over nominations for governmental positions and even policy and strategy. As one Western diplomat said, "He intends to sit in the passenger seat giving advice and ready to grab the wheel if Nigeria goes off course." [31] He voluntarily resigned as the chairman board of trustees of the PDP in April, 2012. [32] Afterwards, he withdrew from political activities with PDP.

In March 2008, Obasanjo was "supposedly" indicted by a committee of the Nigerian parliament for awarding $2.2bn-worth of energy contracts during his eight-year rule, without due process. The report of this probe was never accepted by the whole Nigerian parliament due to manipulation of the entire process by the leadership of the power probe committee. It is not on any official record that Chief Obasanjo was indicted. [33]

Obasanjo was appointed Special Envoy by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. He held separate meetings with DRC President Joseph Kabila and rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.

AU Observation Head - President General Olusegun Obasanjo visits President Robert Mugabe -Zimbabwe General Election 2013 Obasanjo Mugabe.jpg
AU Observation Head – President General Olusegun Obasanjo visits President Robert Mugabe -Zimbabwe General Election 2013

During the Zimbabwean election of July 2013, Obasanjo headed a delegation of African Union election observers. [34]

On May 2014, Obasanjo wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan requesting that he should mediate on behalf of the Nigerian government for the release of the Chibok girls held by the Boko Haram militants. [35]

On 16 February 2015, he quit the ruling party and directed a PDP ward leader to tear his membership card during a press conference. [36] He was later to be known as the navigator of the newly formed opposition party, the APC. [37]

On 24 January 2018, he wrote serving President Muhammadu Buhari highlighting his areas of weakness and advising him not to run for office in 2019. [38] To date all his letters to incumbent presidents have preceded their downfall. [39]

On 31 January 2018, his political movement called "Coalition for Nigeria Movement" (CNM) was launched in Abuja. [40]

On 10 May 2018, the movement adopts a political party, African Democratic Congress (ADC), to realise its dream of a new Nigeria. [41]

On 20 November 2018, he officially announced his return [42] to the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP during a book launch “My Transition Hours,” written by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Personal life

In 1987, his second wife/ex-wife, Lynda, was ordered out of her car by armed men, and was fatally shot for failing to move quickly. [43]

On 23 October 2005, the President lost his wife, Stella Obasanjo, First Lady of Nigeria the day after she had an abdominoplasty in Spain. In 2009, the doctor, known only as 'AM', was sentenced to one year in jail for negligence in Spain and ordered to pay restitution to her son of about $176,000. [44]

In addition to a variety of other chieftaincy titles, Obasanjo holds the titles of the Balogun of Owu and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland. [45]

In December 2017, Obasanjo defended his Ph.D thesis at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He now holds a Ph.D in Theology. That was about two years after he completed his master's degree in the same course. [46] [47] [48] [49]


Olusegun Obasanjo has received several awards and medals. In alphabetical order they include:

Books by Olusegun Obasanjo

See also

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Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo was a Military Governor of Kwara State from July 1975 to February 1976 during the military regime of General Murtala Mohammed. He assisted in establishment of the University of Ilorin, which was founded by decree August, 1975.

David Medayese Jemibewon is a retired Nigerian Army major general who served as military governor of the now defunct Western State during the military regime of General Murtala Muhammed, governor of Oyo State after it had been created from part of the old Western State during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, and later as Minister of Police Affairs in the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo after the return to democracy. He was a contender for the Kogi West Senatorial office in Kogi State.

Major General Paul Ufuoma Omu was Military Governor of South-Eastern State, Nigeria between July 1975 and July 1978 during the military regimes of Generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo.

Audu Innocent Ogbeh is a Nigerian politician who was chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) from 2001 until January 2005. He is the former Minister of Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2015 - 2019.

Chief (Dr.) Solomon Daushep Lar (Walin Langtang) was a Nigerian politician who has held various offices at the National level for over 50 years. He was a member of the first national parliament when Nigeria gained independence in 1960. He was elected governor of Plateau State on the Nigerian People's Party (NPP) platform during the Nigerian Second Republic, holding office from October 1979 until the Military coup of 31 December 1983 that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power. Later, he was founding chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Colonel Anthony Aboki Ochefu was a Military Governor of East Central State from July 1975 to February 1976 during the military regime of General Murtala Mohammed.

Abdullahi Mohammed is a retired Nigerian Army Major General, who served as Chief of Staff to Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, National Security Adviser to General Abdusalami Abubakar, Director General of the National Security Organization, and Governor of Benue-Plateau State, Nigeria from July 1975 to February 1976 during the military regime of General Murtala Mohammed.

1975 Nigerian coup détat

The 1975 Nigerian coup d'état was a bloodless military coup which took place in Nigeria on 29 July 1975 when a faction of junior Armed Forces officers overthrew General Yakubu Gowon. Colonel Joseph Nanven Garba announced the coup in a broadcast on Radio Nigeria. At the time of the coup, Gowon was attending the 12th Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Summit in Kampala, Uganda. The coup plotters appointed Brigadier Murtala Mohammed as head of state, and Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo as his deputy. The coup was motivated by unhappiness of junior officers at the lack of progress Gowon had made in moving the country towards democratic rule, while Garba's role as an insider is credited with ensuring that the coup was bloodless.


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Military offices
Preceded by
Murtala Mohammed
Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria
13 February 1976– 1 October 1979
Succeeded by
Shehu Shagari
Party political offices
Preceded by
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Nominee
1999 (won), 2003 (won)
Succeeded by
Umaru Yar'Adua
Political offices
Preceded by
Abdulsalami Abubakar
as Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council of Nigeria
President of Nigeria
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
Succeeded by
Umaru Yar'Adua
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Howard
Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office
Succeeded by
Lawrence Gonzi
Preceded by
Joaquim Chissano
Chairperson of the African Union
Succeeded by
Denis Sassou-Nguesso