It is celebration time as Nigeria’s former Military Head of State and two times civilian President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, clocks 77 years of age today, 5 March, 2014.
Born Oluṣẹgun Mathew Okikiọla Arẹmu Ọbasanjọ, on the 5 of March 1938, in his home town, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Obasanjo enlisted in the Nigerian Army as a young man of 21 in 1958 and rose through the ranks to retire as a full general.
He trained at Aldershot, England, and was commissioned as an officer in the Nigerian Army. He was also trained in India at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and at the Indian Army School of Engineering.
A holder of many chieftaincy titles, Obasanjo is the Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.
He was Nigeria’s military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.
An elder statesman and one of Nigeria’s most respected men, Obasanjo was one of the people instrumental to the instalment of democracy in Nigeria and a stalwart of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
His first daughter, Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo was a two time Senator in the Nigerian National Assembly.