The only sure thing in life is death, so why not live a life that is full of purpose? While most of us find it hard to juggle work, school, children and business, at the age of 79 Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo is still reinventing himself. Being a Nigerian political figure Olusegun Obasanjo is by no means a shining role model but there is much to be learned from the way Olusegun Obasanjo continues to make himself valuable.
Born on or around 1937, Olusegun Obasanjo has admitted that he does not know his exact birth date (read). As far as we know, he has been alive for about 79 years and has accomplished more than many will accomplish in one lifetime. Hate him or love him, his records cannot be obliterated.
According to Wikipedia.com at the age of 21 Olusegun Obasanjo enlisted in the Nigerian Army. He served as Murtala Mohammed’s deputy after the 1975 coup. After Murtala’s assassination Obasanjo was able to re-establish security in Lagos. His regime benefited from the oil boom revenue, his government invested heavily in local production of consumer goods (soaps, detergents, sodas, paint, etc.) and the Ajaokuta steel mill was developed during his time. His government also distributed seed and fertilizer to farmers to encourage local farmers.
Olusegun Obasanjo was able to facilitate the expansion of education in Nigeria growing the number of universities from 5 to 13 universities between the time of the civil war and 1975. Secondary and primary education was also expanded under his regime. Olusegun Obasanjo handed over to Shehu Shagari, a civilian president, in 1979. The military seized power again in the 80’s. Obasanjo was imprisoned by Military dictator General Sani Abacha for speaking out against his human right violations. Obasanjo became a born again Christian while in prison. He ran for president as a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and won in 1999 becoming a civilian president for the first time. Obasanjo was able to spend two terms in office. His third term agenda failed.
Aside from owning multiple businesses, post-presidency, Obasanjo has served as a Board member for PDP political party, he is a member of the African Progress Panel (APP) a group of 10 individuals that promote ecological development in Africa. According to Wikipedia.com “Obasanjo was recently appointed Special Envoy by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has held separate meetings with DRC President Joseph Kabila and rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.”
A few weeks back Olusegun Obasanjo graduated from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with a Master’s Degree in Christian Theology (read). Today February 18, 2016 he is serving as the chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group at the Ugandan Presidential election (read). What’s next for this two time president that does not show any signs of slowing down?
Olusegun Obasanjo has been in the middle of some of the worst controversies and has made some poor decisions but I cannot help but admire his forte and the way that he continues to evolve.
Written By Lola Fajemirokun
Photo Credit (thecommonwealth.org, venikbox.com, metronews.ng)