Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is an enigma any day. Obasanjo is not called ‘Ebora Owu,’ meaning the weird one, for nothing. Though he has washed his hands off partisan politics for some time now, saying he now wants to devote attention to his international engagements, nonetheless, his influence on the polity has not waned. Rather, the influence of the Balogun Owu has been on the rise. And true to the new task he has given himself, Obasanjo has been busy internationally, making visits to countries in crises to resolve their problems and monitoring elections in Africa and beyond.
The former president clocked 79 on March 5, though many who claim to know him well would contend that he is much older than. And indeed his tremendous energy and stamina seems to belie his age. Congratulating him on his birthday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who refers to Obasanjo as his boss, and to whom he remains close, said the former president has contributed immensely to the institutionalization of democracy in Nigeria and Africa through his personal sacrifice, extensive local and international networks, and God-given wisdom.
“President Buhari believes that Chief Obasanjo’s place in global history is assured for successfully handing over power to a civilian government in 1979 after serving as a military Head of State, and returning to power in 1999 through elections to stabilize the polity, during which he most remarkably negotiated a debt relief for Nigeria,” he said in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media & Publicity Femi Adesina.
“As he turns 79, the President avers that the former president’s regular shuttles across Nigeria and Africa to counsel on economic, social and political issues, and his willingness to head election monitoring teams that have heralded smooth transitions in many countries are legacies which generations will remain grateful”.
Buhari wished Obasanjo long life and strength to continue his service to humanity. Here is also wishing the former president long life and many years of meritorious service to Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.