Olusegun Obasanjo is a former Army general who has ruled Nigeria twice, both as a military head of state and a civilian president, he is the only person to have done this.Obasanjo at 80: 7 facts that make Obasanjo one of the most POWERFUL men in NigeriaHe was born on March 5, 1937 and as he celebrates his 80th birthday today, NAIJ.com has gathered some facts about him, you might not be previously aware of.1. Africa Progress Panel and Club de MadridOlusegun Obasanjo belongs to some of the most powerful organizations in the world. He 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.He is also a member of Club de Madrid, an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community. Its members are over 100 former democratically elected Presidents and Prime Ministers from more than 60 countries.2. Traditional titlesApart from his political affiliations, in hiscurrent home in Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun state, he is a nobleman as the holder of the chieftaincy titles of the Balogun of the Owu lingeage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yoruba land.READ ALSO:7 times Obasanjo showed Nigerians that age is just a number3. He has survived two major lossesIn 1987, his second wife, Lynda, was ordered out of her car by armed men, and was fatally shot for failing to move quickly.And then on October 23, 2005, he lost his wife, Stella Obasanjo, the day after she had an abdominoplasty in Spain.In 2009, the doctor only known as ‘AM’ was sentenced to one year in jail for negligence in Spain and ordered to pay restitution to her son of about $176,0004. He won a historic election in 1999In the 1999 elections, Obasanjo decided to run for the presidency as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and he won with 62.6% of the vote.And May 29, 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.5. International relationsIn November 2003 Obasanjo did something he was heavily criticized for. He decided to grant asylum to the deposed Liberian president, Charles Taylor, something very few could do.On June 12, 2006 he signed the Greentree Agreement with CameroonianPresident Paul Biya which formally put an end to the Bakassi peninsula border dispute.Even though, the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution declaring that the withdrawal of Nigerian troops from the Bakassi Peninsula was illegal, Obasanjogave the order for it to continue as planned.READ ALSO:Ahead of his 80th birthday,Obasanjo admits he doesn’t know his real age6. Obasanjo farmsIn a country where many are abandoning agriculture for the easy money to be made from crude oil, Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the famousfarmers in the country with his ‘Obasanjo farms’ which initially began as the ‘Feed the nation programme’, andhis now, one of the biggest farms in the country.7. Obasanjo’s childrenAlso among his children, the Obasanjo name has proven its power. His son, Dare Obasanjo, is a Principal Program Manager for Microsoft.His daughter Iyabo Obasanjo, was the Ogun Central Senator from 2007 – 2011 and a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative.Watch a video of Obasanjo speaking in an interview session:
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