|Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo|
Tunde Olanrewaju, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, said he has no record of his exact birthday and also disclosed that there is still hope for Nigeria to realise the goals and aspirations of its founding fathers.
The ex-president spoke at his “77th” birthday ceremony held at the Amphitheater of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He said, “There are some people including me who do not know their exact birthday. My mother only told me that I was born on Ifo market day. According to her, in our village, she had prepared to go to Ifo market and Ifo market is every five days. She said as she was preparing, she fell into labour and before those who went to Ifo market returned, I was born. Don’t ask me what month or what year. Whether I know the exact date or not, I think God has made my path to be glorious.”
On the assurance that there is hope for Nigeria, Obasanjo was apparently reacting to the brilliant performances displayed during debate competition organised by the OOPL’s Centre for Human Security (CHS) and UNESCO Institute for African Culture and International Understanding (IACIU) for primary, secondary and university students selected across some West-African countries.
He said the arguments and counter-arguments put forward by the students at the debate had raised hope for a better Nigeria.
He said, “When you listen to these younger ones, you cannot but agree that there is hope for this country. When you hear them and listen to them, you will feel proud.
“Here we have two organisations that are working together not only to give hope, not only to raise expectation for the up and coming in Africa but to make sure that tomorrow will be better than today. And in those children, I am assure personally that tomorrow is better than today”.
While taking a retrospective look at his life, the celebrant admitted that God had been gracious to him despite his shortcomings.
He also thanked God for making him relevant and important towards contributing to the condition of the country.
The ex-president said he was grateful to those who influenced his life both positively and negatively, describing life as both sweet and sour.
According to him, “I am grateful to God and I cannot thank God enough for all He has done, for all that He is doing and all that I know He will continue to do in my life.
“For making me to be a source of blessing to others, for making me to be a participant in areas that are of relevance and importance in the life of this country, Africa and indeed in the world as a whole.”
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Ibikunle Amosun described Obasanjo has one of the greatest products of the state at the global stage.
Co-Chairmen of the library, Dr. Christopher Kolade and Ambassador Carl Masters in their separate remarks, said Obasanjo remained one of the most revered African leaders.
Dignatories at event included Sierra Leonian Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Minkailu Bah, former Governor of Ekiti State, Engr. Segun Oni, former Minister of Education, Prof. Babalola Borisade, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, and Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba (Dr.) Adedapo Tejuoso among others.