|Back To Archives|
| Ellen Orders Land Search For Obasanjo -As He Leaves Office Today|
|Published on May 29, 2007||Email To Friend Print Version
President Ellen Johnson has ordered the Ministry of Internal Affairs to immediately find a parcel of land in Liberia for outgoing Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
President Sirleaf said the land should be found in any part of the country, but should have a sparkling running river, reflecting the vibrancy and serenity of the special relations between the Nigerian leader and Liberia.
President Sirleaf said Obasanjo has worked very hard, and as he retires from active politics, taking into consideration the invaluable assistance Nigeria rendered Liberia under his administration, Liberia was his second home.
“I don’t know where the Minister [of internal Affairs] will find the land with all the combination, but this, I say, will be the very first public land transfer deed that I will sign as president of the Republic of Liberia,” President Sirleaf said last Saturday at the University of Liberia when the institution conferred an honorary doctorate degree of International Law on the Nigerian leader.
President Sirleaf had minutes earlier conferred one of the nation’s highest honors - the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers – on President Obasanjo at the Executive Mansion for his country’s role in helping to restore peace and stability to Liberia.
The Nigerian leader who was paying his last visit as president to Liberia by an invitation of President Sirleaf said he will make constant comebacks to Liberia when he leaves office today. President Sirleaf called on Obasanjo to live up to his two major promises—one, to constantly visit Liberia and two, to continue to serve Africa in the interest of peace, stability and development.
“Welcome back home to you piece of lend that we will give you,” President Sirleaf concluded her brief statement.
Meanwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo, having server the Nigerian Presidency for two consecutive terms will today step town to turn power to over president-elect Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is two-time Nigerian leader (1976-1979 and 1999- 2007). He became the country’s second civilian president since 1999 when he took office for the second time, serving tow consecutive terms.
President Obasanjo was born in Abeokuta, a city in southwestern Nigeria in 1935. He joined the Nigerian military in 1958 and received training in the United Kingdom and India. He made history during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970 when he led the forces that liquidated the remnant of the Biafran soldiers, thus ending the 30-month war.
As second-in-command to General Murtala Ramat Muhammed who was assassinated in 1976, he succeeded him as Nigeria’s Military Head of State. Obasanjo followed through with Muhammed's plan to return Nigeria to civilian rule in 1979, thus becoming the first Nigeria's ruling General to voluntarily surrender power to a civilian government.
Gen. Obasanjo retired from the military following the 1979 handover. He ran a poultry farm and worked on a variety of international projects with the United Nations (UN) and other groups. This raised his international profile, and at one time he was considered for the job of UN Secretary General.
In 1998, Obasanjo contested election as civilian president, under the Peoples Democratic Party. He defeated Chief Olu Falae, the candidate of the All Peoples Party and the Alliance for Democracy, with 63 percent of the votes in the presidential elections. He assumed power on May 29, 1999 as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After assumption of office, he worked to overcome the distrust resulting from his military background, overhauled corrupt governmental systems, improved the economy, and undertook a reform of all aspects of Nigerian life. He was re-elected in April 2003 for another 4-year tenure, which ends today.
The new Nigerian president is also from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. His election was reportedly marred by irregularities and protests from major opposition leaders in Nigeria. The agitation oppositions have called for a rerun of the Nigerian polls. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has a very great task to unite Nigerians and keep the good international contact and recognition as his predecessor, writes D Kaihenneh Sengbeh.