How Mandela, Desmond Tutu encouraged me to contest Nigeria’s presidential election – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President  Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday revealed how late South African President, Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu, a retired Anglican Bishop and South African rights activist, influenced him to contest the 1999 presidential race, after he (Obasanjo) was released from prison.

Mr. Obasanjo made the revelation‎ at a church service for his 80th birthday organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter,  held at the Treasure House of God, Agbeloba, Abeokuta ‎.

He said the advice of the duo, among others, prompted him to go into the presidential race in 1999 when he contested  for the seat to emerge Nigeria’s president.

“When I came out from prison for the offence I didn’t commit and people started putting pressure on me to be Nigeria’s President, I was confused,” Mr. Obasanjo, who led Nigeria both as a military and a civilian leader, said.

“But in that confusion I seek advice, not from here. I went first to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela said ‘Olu (Olusegun) whatever your instinct tells you,  follow it'”, Mr. Obasanjo said.

“Tutu, after listening to me,  said ‘are you tired of serving God and your people.’ He now said ‘my advice to you is that go and do what your people asked you to do.'”

Mr. Obasanjo said a biblical passage helped him finally agree to run in 1999.

“When I now came back,  one day I was reading the book of Esther and I saw where Modekiah said you are here for your people and I started changing my mind from there,” he said .

In his speech at the church service, the Olowu of Owu, Mr. Obasanjo’ hometown,  Adegboyega Dosumu, said the former president  has  a purpose in life, and he has executed the purpose to the best of his ability.

“He has always followed  his heart and he has good intention for Nigeria,” the monarch said.

The monarch appealed to Mr. Obasanjo to help stop the importation of‎ Indian ‘garri’ into Nigeria.

The food and drug regulator, NAFDAC, recently confirmed the existence of imported garri but said it never approved it and was clamping down on its sale.

The  Olowu said the importation of Indian garri would  have a negative implication on the country’s economy .‎

‎Also, the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, while attesting to the former president’s good performance, described Mr. Obasanjo as God’s sent for the emancipation of humans, especially in Nigeria.

The monarch said Mr. Obasanjo saved him from being killed during the military rule; adding that his advice was a saving grace.

‎The church programme was attended by some dignitaries including the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga;  Speaker of the House of Assembly , Suraj Adekunbi; and House of Representative member representing Remo constituency, Ladi Adebutu.

At the end of the event, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ogun State Chapter, decorated the former president ‎as the ‘Asiwaju Onigbago (leader of the believers)’ of Christians in Ogun State.


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  • Samora Machelle

    Premium Times Editor,

    General Obasanjo: An unfunny village comedian

    INFERIORITY COMPLEX will never depart the soul of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
    He’s too psychologically damaged by his dirt poor upbringing he’s wrestling with it.
    Was it Nelson Mandela who opened the gates of the prison Abacha threw him in?
    Was it Desmond Tutu that signed amnesty that qualified him to contest election?

    He will not thank General Abdulsalam Abubakar who made everything possible.
    Obasanjo will not thank General T.Y Danjuma who gave him 800 million Naira.
    To him those actual enablers are not members of “international community” –
    – a phrase he’s addicted to and repeats to himself in his sleep out of low
    self-esteem requiring overcompensation. What a damn wretched yokel.

    • D. Glavdar

      When America virtually barred General Obasanjo since the year 2006 from any official function of the United States
      it was not out of racism or such-like, perhaps more out of revulsion at how a crook wants to be called a Cardinal and allowed into a conclave of the righteous. When United Nations rejected Obasanjo off-handed and without need for consideration as a potential candidate for United Nations Secretary General the rejection was similarly on his own demerits.

      Having been unceremoniously defenestrated by the United Nations (as the pinnacle of the international community), Obasanjo can continue to delude himself in his rutted Ibogun, in Ogun state, by telling the
      illiterate local hunters there that he is an international statesman, if such hilarious delusion makes his summary removal at the gate of the international community less painful.

    • Foreign News

      “We have received several complaints about this OBASANJO charity and issues including
      alleged conflicts of interest and alleged financial misconduct. We currently have an open case
      in relation to this OBASANJO FOUNDATION and have been in contact with the trustees.

      We have recently become aware of further information about potential wrong-doing
      at the OBASANJO FOUNDATION which is of regulatory concern to the commission
      and we are currently considering this new information. We cannot comment
      further while our case is live.”

      …….Sarah Hitchings

      (United Kingdom Charity Commission)

      [May 16th, 2015]

  • Kaycee2000

    Editor Sir,

    I STILL DEY LAUGH O!

    Baba Suwe is my favourite actor. But my DVD player now has fault. NEPA under Buhari and his
    useless Minister of Power Raji Fashola supplied high voltage. I was sad in the beginning since
    I don’t have money to buy new one. One small can of Baygon to kill mosquitoes is now selling for
    one thousand Naira as at today.

    After voting for Muhamadu Buhari who General Obasanjo told us to vote for, my life has been destroyed
    with permanent darkness without any electricity since Christmas eve in my house. But whenever I go to my
    friend’s house they have generator and internet. Whenever I see a story on Obasanjo I am always happy.

    It is like another Baba Suwe in typed form. Obasanjo has never made sense to me in his life but he makes me
    laugh a lot. Like now he wants Nigerians to know that Archbishop Desmond Tutu told him to join PDP. But Obasanjo
    didn’t tell us who later told him to do third term with the bill for constitution amendment that he submitted to Senate.

    Maybe it was the Sultan of Brunei? Or Yoweri Museveni? Who told Obasanjo to do third term. We want to know!
    The person can never be a Nigerian sha. The person must always be a member of the international community.
    Hahahahaha I never go, my people, i still dey laugh.

    • Ademola J.

      Please kindly update us on the progress
      of the London Metropolitan Police Investigation into money-laundering by the Obasanjo Foundation –
      headed by General Obasanjo, which was used to assist financial criminals in public office in Africa to
      transfer stolen money into safe bank accounts in Europe, after 10% commission is covertly paid to the
      Obasanjo Foundation – chaired by General Olusegun Obasanjo himself, according to the citation filed
      in the London Police Complaints book in England.

  • ijelejames

    Why should we know and they told you to loot all our money too? Nonsense talk. Keep quiet and hide your big head in shame.

    • w.w.w

      @ijelejames:disqus

      How United Nations disgraced General Obasanjo

      You know something. General Ibrahim Babangida was co-conspirator
      of General Olusegun Obasanjo in the army. General Babangida, as military
      head of state, however did history a favour by submitting Obasanjo’s name for
      the post of U.N Secretary General. That fatal error by Babangida allowed
      Obasanjo to know what the world actually thinks of him. Obasanjo was a
      peripatetic fellow in public office. He had no policy initiative or any new
      thinking or perspective on any matter of international public affairs.

      But he jumped on free plane at tax-payers expense at the drop of a hat
      with his tribal marks and rural smells, but with no ideas – and inflicted
      himself on other serious presidents working at their table in their own
      countries who had little or no time to banter. On one such frivolous visit to
      Pretoria, South Africa, a national newspaper described him as the most
      horrific-looking president the world has ever seen. Little wonder that when
      Obasanjo’s name was submitted at the U.N General Assembly he didn’t get
      the vote or endorsement of any country in the world. The other candidate from
      Egypt, Dr. Boutrous Ghali, a scholar, was the candidate voted and selected.

      • Pastor J.J.Jones

        “The love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they erred from faith
        and pierced themselves with sorrows. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world
        and lose his own soul? The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro,
        of those who seek death. There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked. One who
        guards himself prudently will stay far from the crooked”.

      • Julius

        Moron, was he the only name they considered ? There were other people from all over the world they considered and that’s how they always elect the Sec. General. Mumu, was your father’e name submitted for consideration ? Hatred will destroyed you. Your father surrendered to him , get over the shame.

      • ijelejames

        Well said

    • ZebraCrosser

      @ijelejames:disqus : General Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo belongs to the vilest generation of village riff-raff
      who held Nigeria at gunpoint, like thieves in thieves’ clothing, and raided the country’s treasury to the
      bottom rack until Nigeria became denuded of sustenance and staggered to the brink of the precipice,
      like a failed state. They stole and stole; according to the paucity of their home-training, if any, and now,
      they rue at leisure in the twilight of their death, unsure how a robbed country will avenge the gunpoint
      robbery – if perhaps by asking atonement from their children for whom they’ll be leaving the loot behind,
      by throwing each child into bonfires on the street or cutting each child to bits, to wipe out entire families
      of thieves, without the splendor of funerals. It’s now for people of Nigeria to choose their own revenge.

      • Buru Kash

        @ceecee1818:disqus

        ……….The thing me I don’t understand is…..why is it Obasanjo at 79 that that is running around…….
        ….to go and greet other people…..nobody comes to Otta to greet him…..what kind of statesman…..
        ………is this Obasanjo, my people?….A real statesman sits down in his house for other leaders…..
        ….to come and visit him for advice…..and to be proud to take photos with him….but nobody comes….
        ……….Obasanjo was doing attache all his life….to go and greet people who didn’t ask him to come…..
        …………That one is counterfeit statesman…….local statesman….419 statesman—useless person….
        ……Was Nelson Mandela going to visit anybody after he stepped down? No! World leaders were…..
        ………the ones coming to Mandela’s house…..but Obasanjo has no shame….he will visit somebody…..
        like 20 times but the person will not visit him once….but the shameless man will still go for 21st time….

      • ijelejames

        Very correct

    • CeeCee1818

      Exactly, I was going to say I’m sure they didn’t advise him to steal.

      • gokealamikun

        @ceecee1818:disqus

        OLUSEGUN OBASANJO HAS MORE IN COMMON WITH LAMIDI ADEDIBU AS EMPTY-HEADS.

    • Sarah

      OBJ, was speaking with a dignified audience and due to his pre-eminent status in Nigeria, the media covered the event.
      Busybody lowlife, he wasn’t speaking with you.

      • Julius

        lolz, you notice the people yapping ? The biafraudians !!!. You know they surrendered to him and they hate him. He conquered them and they can’t get rid of the shame. Each time he has something to say, they go wild and I hoprede he is reading them and laughing !!

      • ijelejames

        You and your father are lowlife and that’s why you are licking obasanjo’s big ass. To you obssanjo is a hero. You must be smoking some contaminated stuff. Innate house-girl, keep licking OBJ’s fat ass. Nonsense.

        • Sarah

          You clearly have no respect for your own father. So I wish you the same.
          Keep away from insulting OBJ or you will get more intense response.
          You should look into yourselves for why God has deprived your tribe anything close to OBJ’s achievements!

  • Okokondem

    I beg to digress from Obasanjo’s need for attention.

    Is it true our country imports garri, of all things, from India whereas Ghana exports much of the garri consumed out here. We also import palm oil and,…toothpicks. Unbelievable! Which begs the question, what accomplishments are people like Obasanjo always quick to take credit for? Uninterrupted power supply I suppose?

  • Otile

    The devil is a liar. Why is Ogagun indulging in self adulating stories now? Yeah, Bishop Abel Mozerewa, Bishop Des Tutu, Racist P.W. Bother, Rebel Ian Smith, and Sir Bob Mugabe begged you to become Nigerian president. But you declined telling them that you had only N200 in your pocked after losing all your wealth and dignity in Abacha’s prison. Then Chief Mongusutu Buthulezi of Kwazulu Homeland called General Abudulsalami Abubakar to hand pick you and later Atiku would fund your campaign money. Before the election King Nswati of Swaziland came down to Nigeria and testified for your chastity. Is it not how you won the do or die election? Ogagun Sir, for once tell the truth, say how it happened.

    • H. Seer

      OLUSEGUN OBASANJO FEELS LIKE A FAILURE IN HIS OWN MIND AND TELLS TALES BY MOONLIGHT
      IN CONFABULATORY NARRATIVES – LIKE MENTAL ILLNESS – JUST TO LOOK LESS THAN A FAILURE,
      WHEN NOTHING HE ENDEAVOURED IN HIS 8- YEARS LIFE WAS GOOD – NOT EVEN HIS MARRIAGES.

    • Good Riddance

      He will soon die and that is why he is indulging in self adulation now. He is more of an evil spirit now.

  • Historees

    @ceecee1818:disqus

    What really happened is this. President John F. Kenedy of America saw Lieutenant Obasanjo
    in 1960 and thought what a handsome man. President Kenedy then advised Obasanjo to go
    and become president when Nigeria gains independence from Britain. But Obasanjo knowing
    he will soon become an international statesman just bought ticket on BOAC flight and flew to
    Moscow, Russia, without a visa. He took a taxi to the Kremlin. He told the Soviet guards he
    would like to speak to President Khrushchev of the Soviet Union without any need for any
    appointment. This was in August 1960.

    President Khrushchev now came out and saw
    Obasanjo at the gate. He asked what Obasanjo wanted. Obasanjo now told him that
    he met with President John F. Kennedy who encouraged him as an army Liuetant to
    become president of Nigeria after Britain gives Nigeria independence. Obasanjo
    then asked President Khrushchev for advice. President Khrushchev said he did
    not quite agree with President John F. Kennedy because Obasanjo is too fine
    to wait for Nigeria to become independent before becoming president. Had
    Obasanjo taken that advice Obasanjo would have been the first president
    of non-independent Nigeria in September 1960. Do you understand it now?

    • Lanre

      Good one. You almost got me there, lol.

    • Suleiman Alatise

      You need to educate us also on why he did not take the advice of the Russian leader to become the first President of Nigeria.

  • Sarah

    OBJ, we thank God for his mercies on you. By God’s grace you are the greatest LIVING Nigerian on the face of the earth today. Among your achievements that we celebrate;
    1) You led the final push to defeat the Biafrans and accepted their surrender. Nigeria continues to EXIST today because of what God achieved through your hands.
    2) You were the FIRST African military leader to honour his word and voluntarily hand over power to civilians at your own self-chosen date.
    3) You reformed the Nigerian armed forces so that no single ethnic group has the critical mass to carry out a successful military coup.
    4) You gave Nigeria our largest ever non-oil economic boom by introducing mobile telecoms.
    5) You freed Nigeria from the crippling effects of debt by paying off our international debt.
    6) You left $60bn savings for your successors in office to carry on with.
    7) You initiated solutions to our electricity problems by ordering gas turbines AND to our refined products crises by selling two ageing refineries to VERY capable entrepreneurs for $300m. Unfortunately Yardua reversed these pragmatic steps to Nigeria’s loss.
    8) You accelerated the establishment of private universities.
    We thank God for these and many more. We seek God’s forgiveness on you wherever you fell short of God’s standards, Amount.

  • el figaro

    @disqus_DSALdLUtfM:disqus

    Very sad way to live at old age. Obasanjo ended his life as a ridicule –
    a butt of all jokes around the world. What a bad destiny. No respect, no
    dignity, nothing enduring as achievement in 80 wasted years on earth spent
    eating and stooling. What a shame. His greatest mistake was to go to speak to
    President Bush in 2006 that he wanted to seek a third term in office, because
    the aspirants were not good for Nigeria and he needed time ‘groom a successor’.
    That was the worst mistake in his life. Obasanjo was secretly recorded by the
    FBI. And Condoleeza Rice was at the meeting as a witness too. She later
    testified in public with the verbatim tape recording. She said President Bush
    scolded Obasanjo as a greedy man and ordered Obasanjo to quit office the day
    his term in office expires. No greater disgrace could have befallen a village
    African chief who overrated his own self-importance.

    • Fair Call 2017

      BUT AMERICA HAS PUNISHED OBASANJO ENOUGH.
      WHY BAN HIM FROM ALL OFFICIAL EVENTS OF THE UNITED STATES AFTER BUNDLING
      OBASANJO OUT OF OFFICE WITH MENACES? IT’S NOT FAIR. OBASANJO IS NOT THE ONLY
      CROOK IN THE WORLD. HE IS NOT THE ONLY ROGUE IN AFRICA. THE PUNISHMENT IS TOO
      MUCH FOR OBASANJO. SINCE AMERICA BARRED OBASANJO HE HAS BEEN RUSTLING INSIDE
      THE FOREST OF CONGO TO TALK TO A REBEL LEADER THE AGE OF HIS OWN SON AT HOME.
      IS THAT WHAT AN INTERNATIONAL STATESMAN SHOULD BE DOING? RUMMAGING THE FORESTS
      OF CONGO SURROUNDED BY BABOONS WHO MAY MISTAKE HIM AS LOOK-ALIKE?

    • Julius

      “Very sad way to live at old age. Obasanjo ended his life as a ridicule –
      a butt of all jokes around the world”
      Really ? Can you post that poll or polls that says that ? , or it doesn’t matter because you are a biafraudian and whatever you say its facts. Smdh !

  • el figaro

    @disqus_DSALdLUtfM:disqus : I have first class in History. I say with all the authority at my command that Obasanjo has no
    achievement whatsoever. I repeat – no achievement whatsoever. The only achievement Nigerians cite
    is Biafra civil war. But the fact is that Obasanjo did not liberate any village or town or city throughout
    his so-called command. Quote me. I am writing in my known name. I teach African history. I repeat that
    throughout his very useless command the then Lt.Colonel Obasanjo did not liberate any Biafran town.

  • Intrepid

    The devil (OBJ) is a LIAR.7

  • Nuisance

    Aremu, please die and go. We are tired of your miserable ferry tales. Small time now you will tell us Judas Iscariot, James son of Zebede, Peter son of Simon and even King Herod and Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah etc also influenced you. Wouldn’t Nigeria be better off were you not born? Even your children loathe you…and they put in in writing. How wicked end evil you are to the extent that you dey coulourby your daughter in-law. Madela influenced you on that one too? Yeye Fowl! Nonsense.

    • Julius

      You want your conquerer dead ? lolz

    • Sarah

      Anu ofia, nsi okuko!
      OBJ was being celebrated by a distinguished audience and the media covered it because of his pre-eminent position in Nigeria.
      Go back to your tribesfolk and look yourselves in the mirror to see why God has persistently deprived your tribe anything close to OBJ’s achievements.

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  • Isaac

    Eversince we got our independent from the British we are been facing series of problems. Although, corruption has not been well pronounced like this days. Nigerians are really find it difficult to excel because of our lunatic leaders who are using the money of the nation as part of their inheritance. OBJ rule Nigeria for good 8years know solution to corruption. The man himself involved himself in so many scandal of which he finds it difficult to address the issues of corruption. Unfortunately for him he privatise all the important economy sectors in Nigeria. He travelled all over the world during his 8years without any tangible improvement to Nigeria economy, no good infrastructure. Having said this i was wondering what does he want in aso rock? You fail to fix this nation why can’t you sit at your house and wait for the judgment of God!. Finally, OBJ fail himself and he disappointed his people. I was so surprised why some nuisance are still praise him in that nation.

  • George

    that CAN is the Ogboni branch because no real Christians will openly associated with a secret cult member as OBJ and above all a man who slept with his own first son wife.

    • Dglavdar

      @suleimanalatise:disqus

      When America barred
      General Obasanjo since the year 2006 from any official function of the United
      States it was not out of racism or such-like, but perhaps more out of revulsion
      at how a crook wants to be called a Cardinal and allowed into a conclave of the
      righteous.

      When the United Nations rejected Obasanjo off-handed, and without need
      for consideration as a potential candidate for United Nations Secretary General,
      the rejection was similarly baed on Obasanjo’s own demerits as an uncouth
      misfit.

      Having been shamed and defenestrated by the United Nations (the pinnacle
      of the international community), Obasanjo can continue to delude himself in his
      rutted Ibogun, in Ogun state, by telling the illiterate local hunters there
      that he is an international statesman, if such hilarious delusion makes his
      summary removal at the gate of the international community less painful.

      • Rommel

        And how does American ban affect Obasanjo?

        • V.O Akins

          @disqus_MSz5KF4VNF:disqus

          THERE IS NO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WITHOUT AMERICA.

          ONCE AMERICA BARRED OBASANJO THAT WAS THE END OF HIM.

          NO RELEVANCE, NO AUDIENCE, NO STATUS, NO RIGHT OF HEARING.

      • Julius

        Jesus Christ !!, why do you people lie so damn much ? We all know that you hate the man but, why lying on him ? When did the U S barred him from anything ?. This is the problem with the biafraudians, you lie so much and you are also teaching your children to lie. Now ,watch another biafraudian come on here and repeat that crap as fact. I pity you people. Its sad !

        • oxlain

          @Julius11:disqus : Have you not noticed that America has never invited Obasanjo to any official event
          since the year 2006? When Obama was to be inaugurated as U.S President in the year 2008, Obasanjo was barred from attending. When Obama was to be sworn in again in second term,
          Obasanjo was barred again. When Donald Trump was to be sworn in last year Obasanjo was
          again removed from the official guest list. How much more disgrace does Obasanjo really want?
          He says he’s ‘international statesman’ but America blacklists him without any access since 2006.
          No government in Europe has ever invited Obasanjo since the year 2006 too – no country there.
          If Europe and America ostracize Obasanjo, where then is Obasanjo’s international community?

          • Tee Savage

            BUT OBASANJO WAS INVITED BY JOSEPH KABILA THE PRESIDENT OF CONGO TO GO
            DEEP INTO CONGLOSE FOREST AND TALK TO 33 YEAR OLD CONGOLESE REBEL LEADER

            WHO IS LIKE OUR OWN TOMPOLO IN NIGER DELTA. IS CONGO NOT OKAY FOR OBASANJO IF AMERICA AND EUROPE SAY THEY DON’T WANT TO SEE OBASANJO AGAIN?

          • Julius

            Let me ask you this, how many ex presidents that the United States invites to anything ? Why would he be invited to Trump inauguration ? Is he the president of Nigeria now ? Was Tony Blair invited ? Where did you get this bullshit that he was “removed” from any list ? Again, why do you people lie so damn much ? Why making up stories . You do this not only to OBJ but, to anybody that you hate. You are doing the same thing to Buhari now simply because he is not an Ibo . It’s sad.Hatred is a disease and it will consume you.

          • oxlain

            @Julius11:disqus

            Worthy past presidents who have something to contribute morally and intellectually are always
            invited by United States government for the inspiring values and knowledge those past leaders
            have in their own rights. For example, in 2008, Nelson Mandela was long before a past president
            but was invited to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington D.C. You get it now?
            Any past president who is neither invited by America or any of the 28 countries in Europe was
            only being tolerated whilst in office and has no personal virtues in his own rights outside office.

          • Julius

            Its always best to know what you wanna talk about before you speak on it. Was it the United state government that invited Mandela or the( CBC ) Congressional black caucus ?. By the way, Mandela was at that time being invited by almost all the world presidents or their parliaments to speak to their citizens and I’m sure you know why, or should I say you should know why . Name somebody else ?. If the United State will invite any president for an inauguration , it will be a current president who is the representative of their country, not the ex. You get it now ?

  • Suleiman Alatise

    What about third term sir, who encoraged you? Kwame Nkruma i guess.

    • Rommel

      Perhaps it was Mungo Park or Lord Lugard

    • Ewens Lawson

      No now, Na Chaka De Zulu encouraged him on the term term bid. hahahahahahhaaaa

  • Rommel

    And after listening to these great men,you ended up introducing ‘Ghana must go’ bags of money into Nigeria’s politics

  • Richard

    The man don lie again third term liar

  • Julius

    Here we go, the biafraudians nightmare dey talk again ooo !. Let them go wild peeing in their pants !!

  • Senator D

    And Stella screams from the grave, “Chief, stop behaving like that Gorilla, which was beating it’s chest, we saw in the Zoo in London nah”…Obasanjo e don do…We know say even Mother Theresa and Mother Mary told you to contest for 3rd term in office because they knew you were the solution to all Nigeria’s problem…Maybe after you die you will be resurrected again to rule Nigeria…hahahahaaa

  • Sarah

    OBJ, you have a massively large heart to have proposed a “..personal opinion..” that an Igbo should be allowed to accede to the Presidency in 2019. While we respect your “..personal opinons..” as our elder in Yorubaland, we only will keep your suggestion in view.
    The ONLY deal in town as at present is to support the North to complete 8 years ending 2023 and support our VP to take over after that time.
    The future is in God’s hands