Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former Nigerian Army general, Military ruler, Former Nigeria President(1937 -)

Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR(born c. 5 March 1937) is a former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. A Nigerian of Yoruba descent, 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.

Olusegun is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. As a Panel Member he facilitates coalition building to leverage and broker knowledge, and convenes decision-makers to influence policy for lasting change in Africa.

His current home is Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State, where he is a nobleman as the holder of the chieftaincy titles of the Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.

Olusegun Obasanjo was born circa 5 March, 1938, in Ogun State; and grew up in Owu, Abeokuta. His first name, Olusegun, means "The Lord is victorious".

Obasanjo was married three times: 1. to Mrs. Oluremi (Remi) Obasanjo – who is the mother of his oldest children, the most well-known being Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, a former Senator of Ogun State; 2. to Lynda Obasanjo – who was fatally shot when armed men ordered her out of her car in 1987; 3. to Stella Obasanjo – who died after a cosmetic surgery procedure in Spain in 2005

Obasanjo has many children, who live throughout Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States. His son, Dare Obasanjo, is a Principal Program Manager for Microsoft. His another son, Adeboye Obasanjo, who is a Lieutenant Colonel at the 3rd Division in Jos, Plateau State, was shot in the legs by Boko Haram in Baza in September 2014.

A Nigerian of Yoruba descent, Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state.

In 1995, Obasanjo was imprisoned on fabricated charges of plotting a coup to depose General Sani Abacha. He was released only after Abacha's sudden death on 8 June 1998. While in prison, Obasanjo became a born-again Christian.

In 1999, Obasanjo became President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 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. Most of his first term he spent travelling abroad.

In 2003, Obasanjo was re-elected in a tumultuous election that had violent ethnic and religious overtones. With high oil prices, Obasanjo’s government oversaw a doubling of Nigeria’s average economic growth rate to 6 per cent. And as a result, he left Nigeria almost debt free.

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. However, the bill was not ratified by the National Assembly. Later Obasanjo denied involvement in this so-called "Third Term Agenda."

In 2008, he was appointed by the United Nations as a special envoy for Africa and has since overseen democratic elections on behalf of the African Union and Ecowas in countries across the continent.

His current home is Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State, where he is a nobleman as the holder of the chieftaincy titles of the Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.

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