Obasanjo at 83 A Leader and His Country

 

I can think about nobody to whom Madeleine Albright’s witticism on her own life applies as much as our own one of a kind Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, previous President of Nigeria and double cross head of state who drove Nigeria from 1976 to 1979 as a military leader and from 1999 to 2007 as a fairly elected president. Resigned military general rancher government official creator conventional titleholder and with an earned Doctor of Philosophy PhD acquired at 80 Obasanjo remains a conundrum a profound restless and controversial leader whose footprints stay permanent in the sands of contemporary Nigerian history.Nigerian Military Coups Obasanjo Commander of the Nigerian Army’s Third Battalion acknowledged the instrument of surrender from the Biafran military central leadership drove by Phillip Effiong in Amichi finishing Nigeria’s multi year common war. Since that day Obasanjo has stayed a perpetual apparatus in Nigerian national life all through office.

Some are brought into the world incredible. Some accomplish greatness. Others have greatness thrust upon them. The general impression of President Obasanjo or Baba OBJ as he is affectionately and conversationally referenced is that greatness was thrust upon his shoulders. As he let me know once in conversation I was neither the first nor the last in my class in my schooldays. I was somewhere in the center. It is not in question anyway that he rose to the occasion that destiny and destiny arranged for him. You have arranged a table before me in the presence of my enemies You bless my head with oil my cup runs over the Biblical psalmist wrote in Psalm 23. As he turns 83 on March 5 it merits thinking about equitably Obasanjo as a leader his effect on our national past, our contemporary politics and possibly on the eventual fate of Nigeria.

I start with an uncontentious however nevertheless controversial proposition. Of every one of Nigeria’s presidents surely since our arrival to majority rules system in 1999, Obasanjo is, by a mile, the most skillful and successful leader we have had. Successful is a word I have chosen purposely. I could have said well known or adored yet didn’t. That is because effectiveness is a definitive measure of administration and in this way of a leader allowed a chance to administer. Leadership is not always a notoriety contest regardless of whether some of Nigeria’s political leaders, in the wake of having been famously elected into office spend their tenures seeking ubiquity while remaining spectacularly ineffectual in administration.

stops here. He took and possessed leadership responsibility and gave no excuses. He sought out respected and supported ability. He is sufficiently certain to harness individuals who are mentally and professionally grounded. OBJ was unquestionably the boss. It is no surprise then that his most significant act in an otherwise moderately unremarkable first term in office as an elected president in 1999 was the compulsory retirement of every single military officer who had previously held political appointments. This step, a right and justified one is accepted to have been planned for fixing a culture of military coups subordinating the military to non military personnel control and ensuring the stability of our nascent vote based system.

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