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Olusegun Obasanjo (Matthew Olusegun Fajinmi Aremu Obasanjo Edit Profile

diplomat , President

The present President of Nigeria is famous for his unselfishness and adherence, the qualities that can be hardly seen in any of the African leaders. And his biography is pretentious and vivid: he is a soldier, a general, a farmer, a politic convict, a writer.


He was born on March 5, 1937 in Abeokhuta, in the south-west Nigeria.


In his youth he gave up school to go to the forces. The future country leader got his military training in Nigeria and abroad; he server for the UNO and former Zaire, was a division commander during the civil war of 1967-1970, became a general. On the whole, his military career lasted for 21 years.

In 1976, after another revolution organized by his friend and ally Murtala Mohammed, Obasanjo becomes a staff officer. And a couples of months later, when Mohammed tried to make another revolution, he was killed. General Obasanja takes the power in his hands. However, three years later he makes a move unusual not only for Niger, but for the whole Africa: he voluntarily leaves his post and gives the power to the civil government, which unfortunately didn’t last long.

After his retirement Obasanjo concerned himself with agriculture and founded a big plant that was considered to be one of the best in the country. At the same tome he was an activist of many international organizations. His candidacy was considered for the post of the General Secretary of the UNO because the international society highly praised his unprecedented for African leaders action.

However, watching Nigerian leader replace one another and Nigeria go down into the economic depth, Obasanjo decided to come back to politics. He began to criticize the authorities sharper and sharper each time and in 1995 his critics ended not only with the arrest, but with the death sentence. Only under severe pressure of the international society the authorities changed the shooting with 15-year imprisonment. His fate was decided by a former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, a former President of the USA Jimmy Carter, a former chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt. In 1998 after the death of the military government Abachi, he was released from prison and almost right away decided to run for the post of the head of the country being an unconditional leader of the election campaign. He left fond memories of his presidency and voluntary retirement. Being a martyr and the faith that the former general would find the common language with the military helped him on his way. The last circumstance was of a great importance for Nigeria.

In 1999 Obasanjo won the Presidential elections with 62% of the votes. Approximately the same victory his National Democratic Party (NDP) gained in both chambers of the National Assembly – the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives. Olu Folae, his contender, who represented two joint parties – the Democratic Alliance and the National Party (DA/NP) – tried to dispute the resulta in court, claiming that NDP bought its votes, but he lost the trials. And Olusegun Obasanjo took the oath as the President and announced that God entrusted him the mission of saving Nigeria.

Right after the victory at the elections Obasanjo made another announcement: “My faith in democracy is absolute, I will be constantly searching for the ways of democratic practice for the society renewal on the name of all Nigerians”. Almost at once the amnesty for those, who was condemned for conspiracies against the government, was declared and the people were released. The next step to democratic changes in the country was the Parliament system. The new Constitution of Nigeria set the regime of the strong presidential power and at the same time gave wide powers to the Parliament. The President, who was elected for a 4-year term and no longer than 2 terms, had to see to the realization of the government politics, but its main directions are set by the Parliament.

Obasanjo came to power in the period of complicated economic and political situation. He called the last years of the military government “the darkest period in the history of independent Nigeria”. The main part of the profit for former dictator and his encirclement was the petroleum industry. National riches plundering led to the consequences, where the 6th petroleum producer country in the world had to import petrol for itself. That’s why Obasanjo, who is not like many other African leaders, supports the formation of the “fair” government and sees his mission not in the growth of the balance on his own bank account, but in the activity for the good of the country, at once made it clear that he will declare war to corruption. The President took under his control finances and oil production that gives the main profit to the country.

His first Presidential term Olusegun Obasanjo began with reformation of the army that traditionally greatly influenced the development of Nigeria .