Olusegun Obasanjo – Early life, Real date of birth and many more

Olusegun Obasanjo, popularly known as the “Ebora Owu’ is from Owu-Abeokuta. A war hero, described as the brain behind the continuous democracy in Nigeria.

The real date of birth

Obasanjo doesn’t know his birthday. During the time he was born in Nigeria, documentation of events is rare. However, he has been using March 5, 1937, as his official birthdate. It is believed he was born sometime between 1932 – 1940.

Obasanjo was born in Ibogun-Olaogun and spent most of his childhood in Abeokuta Ogun-State. 


He attended Baptist boys high school Abeokuta after finishing his primary education at Baptist day school.

After high school, Obasanjo couldn’t afford to pay for his University tuition, although he gained admission to study at the University College Ibadan.

Obasanjo joined the Nigerian army In 1958, working his way to the top after several training both at home and abroad.

In 1963, he got married to his long time girlfriend, Oluremi Akinlawon in England, while training at the royal college of military engineering.

Civil War

During the Biafran civil war in Nigeria, between 1967-1970, Obasanjo was at the frontline, commanding the 3rd Marine Commando Division, (3MCDO). He was in charge of over 40,000 troops.

Apart from repelling several attacks from the Biafran soldiers, Obasanjo launched two different historic assaults that led to the end of the civil war.

These assaults led to the capture of the Biafran Air Force station in Uli Anambra state. Uli airbase was the lifeline of the Biafran forces.

Post Civil War

In 1975, five years after the civil war, Obasanjo became the minister of work and housing and was appointed the chief of staff. 

Gowon was ousted in a coup led by Shehu Must Yar’Adua. Muritala Mohammed became the head of state, and Obasanjo became the second-in-command.

During his time as the second in command, Ogun state was created in 1976, and Abeokuta was made the capital.

A few days after the creation of Ogun-state, Colonel B.S Dimka launched a coup against the government of Nigeria. Obasanjo was targeted but survived; unfortunately, Murtala, who was the head of state of Nigeria, was killed.

Olusegun Obasanjo – 1976 – 1979

After the death of Muritala Mohammed, Obasanjo became the head of state and was in power from 1976-1979.

While Obasanjo was in power, he was determined to return power to a democratically elected government.

On October 1, 1979, Obasanjo stepped down and handed power to Shehu Shegari, the first democratically elected president of Nigeria.

Obasanjo also resigned from the army and moved back to Ogun State.


In 1995, Obasanjo was arrested and imprisoned for participating in a failed coup against General Sani Abacha, the then military head of state of Nigeria.

He was sentenced to death and was later reduced to 30 years imprisonment after outrage from human right activist and friends both in Nigeria and abroad.

Obasanjo regained freedom after Abacha’s death in 1998 and was encouraged to run for president soon after his release from prison.

He joined people’s Democratic Party (PDP) and accepted to run for president.

On February 27, 1999, he won over 62 percent of people votes.

Obasanjo was re-elected in 2003, defeating Buhari with over 11 million votes.

On May 29, 2007, Yar’Adua succeeded Obasanjo and became the third democratically elected president of Nigeria.

Categories: Biography



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