The World Celebrates Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo At 80
As President Sirleaf Leads African Leaders, Others To Commission Obasanjo’s Library
The chairperson, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Liberian president, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, led current and past leaders on the African continent and beyond to the commissioning of the President Olusegun Obasanjo library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Sirleaf, who was also the co-chairperson at the commissioning yesterday, described the presidential library as the first in Africa, and one that demonstrates Africa’s belief in itself.
“Today, we witnessed and dedicated Africa’s first presidential library. It is a living testimony of Africa believing in itself. We take pride in the fact that history is being made, recorded and presented for prosperity. And I can say that the lessons therein are more than academic,” she said.
Sirleaf said Obasanjo had set a model for other African leaders to copy. Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo extolled the virtues of former President Obasanjo, describing him as a gift not only to Nigeria, but Africa and the world at large. He added that the life of the former president is worthy of emulation.
“At every turn, he recorded his views and perspectives, especially of the times in various books, articles, seminars and now in this amazing monument to add credible life of service to our continent and to our world. Aside all else, his enduring legacy will be his believe in one strong, detribalised Nigeria and this is so evident in the gathering of Nigerians here”, he said.
Obasanjo said the dream and vision behind the establishment of the library started three decades ago when he had to reflect on the level of wastages and carnages recorded in the aftermath of the civil war that ended in 1970.
“The library is a combination of vision and dream that started in 1988. At that time, we didn’t know how our vision would materialise. The first step was in 2005, when we launched an appeal fund for the library. The response was great and the opposition was also not relenting. But despite the opposition, we soldiered on,” Obasanjo said.
The former president said the library recognised right from outset, the need to possess three critical things for its survival. These he said, are: revenue generating unit, enough facilities to serve the need of its host community and centre of information and learning that is not static but dynamic.
Prominent leaders at the event included: Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbe, Gabonese President, Ali Bongo, Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza, Sierra Leonean President, Ernest Bai Koroma and representative of Queen of England, Prince Michael Kent.
Others are; former presidents of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, Ernest Shonekan, Ghana, John Kufuor and former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as former Vice President, Namadi Sambo.