Soyinka’s Wicked Literary Press Attack On Obasanjo And A Comprehensive List Of Obasanjo’s Best Lies

Wole Soyinka

Why Wole Soyinka Is Quarrelling With Olusegun Obasanjo

by Engr Rotimi Fabiyi,

Obasanjo-and-JonathanOn a certain day in August 2015, the internationally respected Nobel Literature Prize winner Professor Wole Soyinka told the world that he has commenced the writing of a book that will be titled Republic Of Liars and that will be based on some of the numerous lies of Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (who is presently a doctorate degree student of National Open University of Nigeria) had earlier written in his 2014 autobiographical book titled My Watch that Professor Soyinka is not as intellectual excellent as he has make himself believe because he actually is an expert in only 2 directions which are that he is a wine connoisseur and a guinea fowl hunter.

Expectedly, Wole Soyinka was angry at this Obasanjo’s trivialising description of him but instead of engaging in verbal quarrel with Obasanjo, he has elected to reply Obasanjo in writing and specifically in book form. Professor Soyinka’s forthcoming book will not be the first book to counter the content of a book written by Chief Obasanjo. A certain Nigerian brigadier general named Godwin Alabi–Isama used 163 pages out of his 621-paged book titled The Tragedy Of Victory. On-The-Spot Account Of The Nigeria- Biafra War In The Atlantic Theatre to debunk and disprove much of what Obasanjo wrote in his own first published book titled My Command while a certain politician named Ebenezer Babatope (who was the director of organisation of Obafemi Awolowo’s now defunct political party Unity Party of Nigeria) wrote a whole book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo – Obasanjo Wager to counter (a) most of what Obasanjo wrote against the illustrious Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his book titled Not My Will and (b) most of what Obasanjo said against the selfsame Awolowo in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper.

Before Professor Soyinka releases to the general public this his forthcoming book titled Republic Of Liars, myself Rotimi Fabiyi have elected to tell the world few of Obasanjo’s many untruths, falsities, fibs and lies. It is important to note that the lies of Obasanjo as listed and explained in this article are not arranged based on their importance, nor were they listed chronologically

(1) Obasanjo Claims He Never Had 3rd Term Ambition. This is a wicked lie. In her autobiography titled No Higher Honour, former United States Secretary Of State Ms Condoleezza Rice stated that she was physically present when then-Nigerian President Obasanjo told then US Prsesident George H.W Bush Jnr. at the White House that he (Obasanjo) wanted to go for 3rd term. Bush told him not to do such but he went on to do it and ridiculed himself by failing woefully with his 3rd Term Agenda

(2)Obasanjo Claims In His book Titled My Watch That He Never Knew That Umar Yaradua Had A Terminal Sickness. This is another lie. He has been close to Yaradua family since the 1970s when Shehu Yaradua (Umar Yaradua’s elder brother) was his deputy head of state when he (Obasanjo) was Nigerian military head of state so he clearly must have known about Yaradua’s ailment but lied as usual

(3)Obasanjo Claims He Built FESTAC Town, Lagos State, Nigeria. Another lie. Festac town was fully paid for by General Yakubu Gowon before he was deposed as Nigerian ruler, Obasanjo only commissioned the building upon completion. Gowon copied this method of fully paying for a project from Chief Obafemi Awolowo (who was Gowon’s finance minister for 5 years) because Awolowo used the same method to pay for Nigeria’s 1st skyscraper Cocoa House a decade earlier

(4)Obasanjo Claims He Built National Theatre. Another lie. Gowon made a full payment for National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos State, Nigeria (it was Awolowo that told Gowon to design National Theatre in the shape of a military cap called peak cap). Obasanjo simply commissioned it on completion and till today claims the glory (see the book The Nigerian Year Book 1975 by James Ojiako (ed.) for evidence that Gowon started and nearly completed the construction of National Theatre)

Sleeping_Obasanjo-480x352(5)Obasanjo Claims He Stopped The 1967 Agbekoya Riots In Western State, Nigeria. This is a strange lie. The price of cocoa was rapidly declining in 1967 and the cocoa farmers in Yorubaland (then known as Western State) were infuriated that the Federal Government of Nigeria apparently didn’t give a damn (obviously because all the attention of the Federal Government was on winning the then ongoing Biafra War). The cocoa farmers eventually decided to stage a protest and march to the State Government House at Ibadan. Even before they reached their destination, they had started destroying everything they met on the way and even overpowered the guards at Agodi Prisons and freed all the inmates. When the head of the Nigerian Army Garrison stationed at Ibadan Olusegun Obasanjo was contacted by the governor Robert Adeyinka Adebayo to help disperse the rioting farmers, he simply gave the excuse that he had no equipment for such a task. It was a civilian Mr. C.S Akande that summoned courage and blew up the bridge between the state government house and the rioting farmers’ route (with dynamites used to break rocks) and saved the day so Obasanjo should stop lying (see the books Onward Soldier Marches On: A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo and The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama for more details)

(6)He Claims He Knows Nothing About The Burning Down Of Fela’s House In 1978 .Another Lie. In February 1978, musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s house was besieged by hundreds of soldiers of the Nigerian Army obviously because of Fela’s endless criticism of Obasanjo’s military junta. Fela and other residents and visitors to his multi-storey house on that day were not only beaten to pulp, his mother Mrs. Ransome-Kuti (who was the 1st Nigerian woman to drive a car and also the 1st Nigerian woman to form a political party) was thrown from the 4th floor by the soldiers (she died of multiple fractures few weeks later) and the whole 4-storey building with Fela’s clothes, 500 pairs of shoes, money, musical instruments, master tapes, motor cars, etc were burnt to ashes (see the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details). How can such a dastardly act by hundreds of soldiers happen in daylight in Lagos right under the nose of then Lagos-residing General Obasanjo and yet he claims ignorance of it?

(7)He Sees Himself As A Paradigm Of Accountability. This is a lie. During Obasanjo’s military rule from 1976 to 1979, Buhari was the petroleum minister but at a stage he was required to go oversees for a 1-year military course so head of state General Obasanjo took over the petroleum portfolio. Throughout the 12 months that Obasanjo took charge of Nigeria’s oil, the 1-year oil money (about 2.8 billion naira which was equivalent to 4 billion US dollars because Nigerian currency was at that time stronger that U.S currency i e US $1=54kobo) Nigeria made could not be found till today. This was why Awolowo told Nigerian in 1979 that he will probe Obasanjo if he (Awolowo) wins 1979 Presidential Elections and that was why Obasanjo made sure Awolowo lost that election. Part of that money allegedly strayed to Idi Amin’s Uganda on its way to Swiss banks and the whole episode was analysed in books like A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon, Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin, Beckoned To Serve by Shehu Shagari, Nigeria. 20 Years Of Independence by Financial Times Of London, Out Of Nigeria by J.K Brandler and also in individual books by British author Jeffry Archer and Nigerian author Oba Otudeko

Obasanjo-Iyabo1(8)Obasanjo Usually States That He Created A Level Playing Ground During 1979 Elections. This is a vicious lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasano was asked by a journalist who he thought would win. His reply that “…the best candidate [obviously Awolowo] may not win the election …” made many confirm even before the election that Obasanjo did not want Awolowo as president (see page ix of the book Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin)

(9)Obasanjo Claims 1979 Presidential Elections Was Free And Fair. Another big lie. FEDECO (which was an equivalent of today’s INEC) was then led by an Obasanjo stooge named Chief Michael Ani. In that election, the myth of “indivisible north” was shattered because 3 candidates from 3 parties came out for president from the north (i e NPN’s Shehu Shagari, GNPP’s Ibrahim Waziri, and PRP’s Aminu Kano). With the votes in the north divided into 3, Awolowo’s party UPN made giant strides and clearly won the election but when FEDECO saw that Awolowo’s vote was at 4.92 million while Shagari’s vote was at 5.7 million, FEDECO simply stopped counting the ballot and declared Shagari winner because the states remaining to be counted (Kano, Borno, Bauchi, Gongola, etc) will never vote Shagari. Apart from Yorubaland, Awolowo’s party UPN won several senatorial and representative seats in states like Gongola, Bendel, Cross River, Kaduna, Kano and Kwara which means Awolowo’s party was truly national (see the books Nigeria Returns To Civil Rule by Okion Ojigbo,, The 1979 Elections by Lai Joseph, Nigeria: Shadow Of A Great Nation by Lai Joseph, 13 Years Of Military Rule. 1966 –1979 by James Ojiako, and Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho for more details)

(10)Obasanjo Claims He Never Knew President Shehu Shagari Would Be Ousted By Coup. Another big lie. Ibrahim Babangida would later state in an interview that when he and his coupist clique told Obasanjo of their plan to depose Shehu Shagari by a coup, “… he [Obasanjo] said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot …” (see page 14 of the book Soldiers Of Fortune by British-Nigerian author Max Siollun for more details)

(11)Obasanjo Claims He Encouraged MKO Abiola In His June 12, 1993 Presidential Bid. This is a discouraging lie. Multibillionaire MKO Abiola and former Nigerian Army General Olusegun Obasanjo were truly secondary school mates at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria and they were both respectively the editors and deputy-editors of the selfsame school’s magazine but Obasanjo was not too enthusiastic about Abiola’s emergence as Nigerian president as shown not only in his actions at that time but also by his statements. Not only did Obasanjo avoid been seen with Abiola during the latter’s massive presidential campaign in 1993, it was also recorded on page 569 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama that “… during Chief [MKO] Abiola’s June 12 issue in Nigeria, General Obasanjo then said that Chief Abiola was not the messiah that [Nigerians)]were looking for…” Unsurprisingly, Abiola’s clear presidential mandate was cancelled few days later by General Ibrahim Babangida, proving that Obasanjo worked against MKO Abiola’s presidential ambition but lies to the contrary

(12)Some Think Obasanjo Formed People’s Democratic Party. Another thoughtless lie. General Sanni Abacha died on 8th June, 1998 and was immediately replaced by General Abdulsalam Abubakar whose first acts in office included the release of Obasanjo, Bola Ige and 7 others from prison on 15th June, 1998. Even though Obasanjo told journalists on that same day that “… I am willing to serve …”, he did not immediately join (much less form) any political movement of the time. As for Bola Ige, he immediately started the formation of a political party tentatively known as G-34 and by 15th July, 1998 when he officially announced the formation of the G-34 party, he named the leaders of the party as himself Bola Ige, Alex Ekwueme (an eastern Nigerian) and Solomon Lar (a northern Nigerian) to give it a national outlook. On 25th August, 1998, the same Bola Ige & Co led G-34 announced its final official name as People’s Democratic Party but few days later, Bola Ige, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and several others willingly (and angrily) left PDP to form another party called All Progressive Party, APP because they were infuriated by the large numbers of anti-progressives (including many conservatives like Ibrahim Babangida and his military boys who worked against democracy by cancelling June 12 Elections years earlier) rushing to register with PDP. APP was officially registered on 31st August, 1998 but on 2nd September, 1998, almost half of the members of the newly formed APP left the party as a protest against the acceptance of “Abacha Politicians” (i e those Nigerian politicians that openly supported the Gestapo regime of General Sanni Abacha) like Lamidi Adedibu into the party. This break-away group (led by Bola Ige) immediately formed Alliance for Democracy and it was on 16th September, 1998 that PDP announced that Obasanjo had registered with the party which means that Obasanjo joined PDP 21 days after the party was officially registered (for more details, see the article “Let’s Rewind: The Story Of Our New Democracy. The First Obasanjo Years” by Yemi Ogunjobi , Historical Flashback Nigerian newspaper, June 3 – June 30, 2015, pages 22-25) so he and his cronies should stop acting as if he (Obasanjo) formed and owns PDP

(13)Obasanjo Claims He Never Promised In 1999 To Spend Only 4 Years As Nigerian President. A strange lie. Obasanjo’s open promise in 1999 that he does not need to be Nigerian president for more than one term of 4 years was what made Babangida publicly and boldly state just before the 1999 Elections that he also was ready for politics but he only wanted to wait for his boss (Obasanjo) to go for it first, so Obasanjo should stop lying to the contrary

(14)Obasanjo Claims He Respects Nigerian Constitution. This is a lie. When Lagos State Government created additional local governments during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, then president Obasanjo insisted that Governor Tinubu should immediately scrap the new local governments even though Section 8, Subsections 3(a), 3(b), 3(c) and 3(d) of the 1999 Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria clearly state that any of the 36 states in Nigeria has the right to create new local governments. When Tinubu refused to rescind the local governments (because their creation was legally backed by Nigerian Constitution), Obasanjo went further in his rascality to illegally seize the budgetary allocation of Lagos State in an effort to financially destabilize the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but Tinubu proved himself to be a superior administrator by making Lagos State survive and even excel financially without federal allocation

(15)Obasanjo Claims He Has The Right To Remove A State Governor During State Of Emergency. This is a brazen lie. Section 305, Subsections 1 to 6 of the Nigerian Constitution has clearly explained the procedure for declaration of state of emergency but there is no provision whatsoever therein that states that the president of the Federal Government of Nigeria has the right to remove a governor in whose state a state of emergency is declared. Section 188, Subsections 1 to 11 provide for the removal of a governor or deputy governor from office but no provision therein states that a state governor can be removed from office by the president or because a state of emergency is declared in his state

(16)Some Persons Believe That If Obasanjo Had Supported Jonathan In 2015 Presidential Election, Jonathan Would Have Won. This is another lie. If Obasanjo had stood with Jonathan throughout the 2015 elections, he would have been disgraced with Jonathan by Nigerian voters. Obasanjo does not command votes as some of his toadies would want Nigerians to believe-his daughter was thoroughly defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate when she contested to be a senator in Ogun State in 2011, his stooge General Olurin (rtd) was completely defeated by a Tinubu’s ACN candidate in the 2011 Ogun State Governorship Elections (Olurin openly congratulated Amosun when the latter defeated him so it was not Jonathan that was the first PDP candidate that failed in elections and yet congratulated his successful opponent as some liars want us to believe), his candidate Debo Dosumu was defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate in 2011 Lagos State Governorship elections (Mr Dosumu promptly congratulated Fashola that defeated him when he learnt of the latter’s election success), all the PDP governors he imposed on Southwest Nigeria did not last very long, and he himself lost elections in his state and even in his local government in 1999 Presidential Elections

(17) After Tearing His PDP Membership Card, Obasanjo Joined APC . Another lie. After instructing the chairman of PDP in his ward to tear his PDP membership card on 16th February, 2015, Obasanjo did not join APC as some people have made themselves believe

(18)Obasanjo Claims That He Never Liked Tinubu Because Tinubu Is Too Corrupt. This is a pernicious lie. As far back as November 2000, Obasanjo tried to cajole Tinubu to leave his then political party Alliance for Democracy, AD and join the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. This was because of the serious cleavage that developed in the AD on 1st November, 2000 when the party strangely held 2 different conventions and 2 different party chairmen strangely emerged (viz Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadri and Alhaji Yusuf Mamman). As INEC announced that it recognized Ahmed Abdulkadri (instead of Yusuf Mamman as widely and normally expected), everybody knew AD was set to ruin itself with an intra-party power tussle so Obasanjo reportedly sent delegates to Tinubu to encourage him to decamp to PDP but Tinubu refused and instead formed his own party Action Congress, AC sometime later. In other words, Obasanjo proved himself to be a liar by saying he never liked Tinubu because he once tried to woo Tinubu to PDP

(19)Obasanjo Claims He Had No Hand In Bukola Saraki’s Crooked Emergence As Senate President. Another lie. Few days after the political coup that crookedly made Saraki a senate president , he (Saraki) visited Obasanjo at his Hilltop Mansion located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria in the company of die-hard “Obasanjo Boys” like Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Tayo Alasoadura and Senator Andy Uba (the very set of persons that made Saraki crookedly become senate president) and held a closed door meeting with him (Obasanjo) for about 2 hours. That meeting clearly showed that Obasanjo was actually the brain behind Saraki’s crooked emergence as senate president even though he wants us to believe otherwise (see page 4 of Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 20 June, 2015 for more details)

(20)He Portrays Himself As A Nationalist . Another barefaced lie. Obasanjo likes to state that his supports of Shehu Shagari in 1979 Presidential Elections, Umar Yaradua in 2007 Presidential Elections and Jonathan in 2011 Presidential Elections show that he is a nationalist, not a tribalist but a close look at his political shenanigans shows that he only supports candidates loyal to him. Remember that he himself connoted in one of his pronouncements before 1979 Presidential Elections that Awolowo was the best candidate but made sure Shagari “won” obviously because of Awolowo’s promise that he will probe him (Obasanjo) when elected

(21)When Ooni Of Ife Okunade Sijuwade Died In 2015, Obasanjo Spoke Of Him As If They Have Always Been Good Friends. This is another lie. Multibillionaire businessman Prince Okunade Sijuwade (who was an employee of Chief Obafemi Awolowo from 1951 to 1953) was coronated as the king of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria in December 1980 by Oyo State Governor Bola Ige (who was an Awolowo political protégé and who became governor on the platform of Awolowo’s political party Unity Party Of Nigeria, UPN). Before, during and after the coronation, Obasanjo was one of the few persons that ceaselessly excoriated the emergence of multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade as the king of Ife, denouncing the whole episode as an Awolowo-orchestrated affair in which he (Awolowo) imposed his boy Bola Ige (who was elected and sworn-in in 1979) as Oyo State Governor and imposed another of his boy (Prince Sijuwade, who was the employer of a certain Gabriel Igbinedion that later became a multibillionaire) as the Ooni of Ife even though Bola Ige became a governor after contesting against and defeating several political opponents in the governorship election held on 28th July, 1979 while multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade became a king after all the kingmakers in Ile-Ife unanimously decided to pick him as the king. With Obasanjo’s excoriation of King Sijuwade on record, he (Obasanjo) simply confirmed himself as a liar by suggesting that they were close friends

(22)Obasanjo Usually States That, As A Pastor, He Always Has A Clear Mind With Every Human Being. This is a patent lie. If he truly has a clear mind with every human being, he wouldn’t have ridiculed Awolowo (he once described Awolowo as “… a failed politician whose many election losses have made him lost touch with reality…” in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper), sabotaged Abiola (by openly stating that Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria was looking for), victimized Tinubu (by illegally and unconstitutionally seizing the financial allocation of Lagos State during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu), trivialised Soyinka (by calling him an empty-headed fellow that knows nothing except how to hunt guinea fowl and how to identify a wine by its taste), etc

(23)He Usually Implies That He Never Had A Questionable Source Of Fund While In The Nigerian Army. This is clearly a lie. In 1963, a certain Nigerian Army officer named Alani Akinrinade took his military friend Godwin Alabi-Isama to visit another military friend named Olusegun Obasanjo. Alabi-Isama was surprised to see that Obasanjo (then a mere 2nd lieutenant) was living in his own house not in a small village where land will be very cheap but in a big cosmopolitan city like Ibadan where land was sure to be expensive so he (Alabi-Isama) promptly asked his friend Akirinade “… how could a 2nd lieutenant … build a house in Ibadan for himself …?” (see page 401 of the Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama). If ownership of a house by a 2nd lieutenant of the Nigerian Army in a big city as at 1963 is not a questionable affair (on page 444 of the same book, Alabi-Isama wrote that “[when I was a 2nd lieutenant], … the [Nigerian] Army did not approve of my marriage on the presumption that I …. would not be able to maintain a wife on the salary of a second lietenant…”), Alabi-Isama clearly would not have expressed the type of surprise he spontaneously expressed

(24)Obasanjo Farms Is His Brainchild . Another lie. According to the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo (who Olusegun Obasanjo married on 22nd June, 1963 at Camberwell Green Registry, South East London, United Kingdom when she was just 21 years old and he was 26 years old), the idea to start a poultry farm business was that of Oluremi Obasanjo (not of her husband Olusegun Obasanjo) when she started a poultry farm in Ogun State with her own money but (to her greatest mistake) on her husband’s piece of land. By the time she started making huge sums of money (particularly from egg sales) from the poultry farm, Obasanjo arranged for her to be arrested (while transporting a truckload of eggs and fowls to Lagos State for sale) and accused of stealing eggs and fowls. She was detained at Lafenwa Police Station, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria for several days and when she regained her freedom, she wisely left the poultry farm for her strange and estranged husband and the farm later metamorphosed into Obasanjo Farms, Nigeria

(25)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Is A Prude Or Even A Celibate. This is a clear lie. According to his wife Oluremi Obasanjo (who has HND in Institutional Management) in her book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, “… [Olusegun Obasanjo’s] womanising knows no bounds …” and she also wrote that he has “… monumental moral indiscipline …” due to his multiple sexual relationships with many women of different extraction (women older than him, wives of other army officers, etc) though she was honest enough to explain in her own words that whenever it became necessary, she wasted no opportunity to slap, beat, kick and even bite other Obasanjo women (all of whom she named and described in details in the book) so Olusegun Obasanjo should stop behaving like a prude or even a celibate because the details emanating from his wife confirm the exact opposite

(26)He Gives The Impression That He Quelled The 1976 Dimka Coup . Another blatant lie. In a military setting, the proper thing is for the second-in-command to immediately take charge when the commander is suddenly incapacitated by wound or death but when General Murtala Muhammed (then Nigerian head of state) was shot dead by Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Sukar Dimka on Friday, 13th February, 1976 as part of a coup d’etat, his (Murtala’s) second-in-command Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo simply disappeared and left the command structure leaderless but not rudderless because Colonel Ibrahim Babangida volunteered to reconnaissance the military strength of Dimka while Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma arranged the strike force (from Bonny Camp, Lagos State, Nigeria) that effectively neutralized the Dimka Coup (based on Babangida’s eventual intelligence report). It was about 5pm (several hours after the coup had been smashed by his subordinates) that Obasanjo surfaced after spending hours hiding without his military uniform (to avoid being detected) in the sprawling mansion of Lagos multimillionaire businessman Chief S.B Bakare which means he was not in any way involved in quelling the coup but actually ran away during the coup (see the books The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo, Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho, and Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966 – 1976) by Max Siollun for more details

(27)Obasanjo Usually Implies That All Northern Nigerian Army Officers Supported Him When Murtala Died In 1976. This is a big lie. According to page 437 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Colonel Ibrahim Babangida and Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma initially wanted to form a new government when Murtala was killed during Dimka Coup because they were the 2 persons directly responsible for smashing that coup on 13th February, 1976 mainly because Murtala’s second-in-command (Obasanjo) that supposed to immediately rally soldiers to counter-attack the coupists himself ran away but Brigadier Alabi-Isama and Brigadier Alani Akinrinade insisted that “… the next senior officer must be the next head of state, and that was Obasanjo…[but Danjuma and Babangida immediately asked if it made sense for]… the senior officer who ran away during a coup against the government in which he was number two [to]come back to lead those who put the coup down …” Danjuma and Babangida later accepted Obasanjo’s emergence as head-of-state but it is on record that they initially refused to support (with tangible reason) the emergence

(28)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Willingly Chose To Go To War Front In 1969. Another lie. When the Nigerian Supreme Military Council headed by General Gowon decided to replace then Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Adekunle with Lieutenant Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo as the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos of the Nigerian Army during Nigerian Civil War, Gowon told Major Alani Akinrinade and Major Godwin Alabi-Isama to go and inform Obasanjo (who until then was not directly involved with the ongoing war) of the new post and also to inform him of the Commandos’ efforts till that time and what was expected of him when he becomes the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos. After Akinrinade and Alabi-Isama spent four and a half hours to brief him, “… Obasanjo … [surprisingly] told us that he was an engineer, and that he was not going to war front! …” which made Alabi–Isama “ …[grew] so annoyed that I went on pouring venom on this officer [Obasanjo], asking [him]what engineering university he did attend anyway…[and]reminded him also that engineers like Bayo Onadeko, Oladejobi and Duke who were university graduates [were] at the war front …” It was only when General Gown announced on the news media Obasanjo’s new post that he choicelessly went to war front though in the company of the then Nigerian Army chaplain Colonel Father Pedro Martins, an act which turned him into a laughing stock because he clearly had the puerile belief that he was brought to the war front to die (see pages 40 5–409 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama for more detailed information about this episode)

(29)Obasanjo Always Portrays Himself As An Epitome Of A Good Soldier. This is an epitome of a bad lie. Obasanjo officially took over command of the 3rd Marine Commandos on Friday, 16th May, 1969 and, within a week, he ordered that Nigerian soldiers should attack a Biafran town named Ohoba (despite the fact that his subordinates Alani Akinrinde and Godwin Alabi–Isama told him how disastrous such a venture would be). Within an hour of battle, 1000 Nigerian soldiers were dead (see pages 659–660 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama) and Obasanjo himself wrote that “… [when we attacked Ohoba] causalities (sic) were high, some one thousand and four hundred killed, wounded and missing at the end of the operation …” (see page 97 of My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo). Only a novice commander would lose 1400 soldiers in a single battle and only a novice soldier will become a novice commander so Obasanjo should stop seeing himself as an epitome of a good soldier

(30)He Openly States That He Devised The Plan That Ended The Nigerian Civil War. This is a planless lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo told the world that Nigerian Civil War ended by his actualization of his self –devised war plan named Operation Tail Wind but he curiously forgot to include detailed maps and sketches that any original military commander will surely include in a military book like My Command. A deeper research however shows that his bogus Operation Tail Wind was a carbon copy of his subordinate Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2 war plan as minutely detailed in Alabi–Isama’s book The Tragedy Of Victory (which contains about 500 maps and pictures). In other words, Nigerian Civil War was won by Nigeria with Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2, not by any plagiarism called Operation Tail Wind by Obasanjo

(31)Obasanjo Is Fond Of Referring To Himself As An Engineer. This is an engineered lie. Because he was an army sapper (a sapper is a soldier whose job is to build or repair roads, bridges, etc), Obasanjo is fond of calling himself an engineer but for a Nigerian to be qualified to call himself an engineer, he has to be registered with the Council For The Regulation Of Engineering In Nigerian, COREN after passing a series of examinations set by the Council. Obasanjo till today is not registered with COREN and an eyewitness to one of his projects as an army sapper wrote that “ … even in army engineering, when Colonel Obasanjo [who was the head of Nigerian Army Engineering] tried to build Ojuelagba Bridge … in Lagos [State] after the [Nigerian Civil] War, the bridge collapsed in … front of all invited guests on the day of opening. Why did the bridge collapsed? …” (see page 614 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi –Isama. See also the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details)

(32)Obasanjo Usually Gives The Impression That He Detests and Despises The Coup Plotters Of January 1966. This is a detestable lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo angrily (and rightly) wrote damnable things about the perpetrators of the 15th January, 1966 coup (in which Nigerian politicians like Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and his pregnant wife named Zarumi, Festus Okotie – Eboh, and Ladoke Akintola and Nigerian senior military officers like Abogo Largema, Zakariya Maimalari, Yakubu Pam, Mohammed Kur, Samuel Ademulegun and his pregnant wife named Latifat, Ralph Shodeinde, etc were brutally but needlessly shot dead) and in the biography he (Obasanjo) wrote about one of the culprits named Nzeogwu and titled Nzeogwu, Obasanjo rightly called the coup plotters “ … reactionaries … ” but according to Adewale Ademoyega (who was part of the perpetrators of the bloody coup and who remained impenitent for the needless multiple murders till he died in 2007), “ … for… two days, I stayed very warmly with … Nzeogwu [who led the coup] … , Anuforo [who was also part of the coup plotters, and] … Obasanjo … [who] had just arrived back in Nigeria [2 days after the coup from] … a military course in India. [Obasanjo] was full of praise and admiration for Nzeogwu and for all the officer and men [that staged the bloody coup]…, he believed that is a high level achievement in spite of our subsequent failure to take over the government of the Federation. Obasanjo regretted that he was not around to have taken part in the [coup]…, gave us his unqualified support and hoped that things might yet turn in our favour … ” (see pages 136 and 137 of the book Why We Struck. The Story Of The First Nigerian Coup by Adewale Ademoyega). In other words, Obasanjo actually gave retroactive moral support for the unnecessary (and unnecessarily bloody) coup of 15th January, 1966 but wants Nigerians and the world to believe otherwise

(33)He Presents Himself As A Warrior That Led His Soldiers By Example. This is a good example of a lie. Throughout the 6 short months he spent at the war front during the Nigerian Civil War, Obasanjo was never present with his soldiers on the battle field (compared with his immediate predecessor Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle who always led his soldiers on the battle field) but always several hundreds of kilometers away mostly at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. See several evidences to back this fact in the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama and also in the book Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo in which he himself indirectly declared himself a coward when he wrote of how he ran away (instead of immediately organising in a counter-attack strike force) in 1976 when Australia-trained Dimka shot Muritala dead (see the book Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966–1976) by Max Siollun for additional information about the coup)

(34)Obasanjo Usually Talks Of How He Easily Forgives People That Offend Him. This is an offensive lie. When a certain Brigadier–General Godwin Alabi–Isama tendered his willful resignation letter to the Nigerian Army in May 1977, General Obasanjo-led Federal Government of Nigeria kept mute but when the Federal Republic Of Nigeria Official Gazette was published in December 1977, the selfsame Alabi-Isama (who called Obasanjo a fake engineer to his face 8 years earlier because Obasanjo was trying to dodge going to war front) was not listed as resigned from Nigerian Army but as “… dismissed from Nigerian Army …” and therefore deprived of pension and gratuity (see pages 445,455 and 462 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama). So much for Obasanjo’s ease of “forgiving” people

(35)Obasanjo Speaks Of Meritocracy As If He Became Nigerian Ruler Through Merit. Another meritorious lie. From the 1967 Agbekoya Riots, Nigerian Civil War, 1976 Dimka Coup to 1977 FESTAC, 1999 Presidential Election, etc, Obasanjo has always surfaced towards the end of an event and simply take the glory. This is why an online news media Sahara Reporters published an article which declared Obasanjo as “ … the luckiest Nigerian ever … ” In other words, Obasanjo achieved all he achieved not because of merit but simply because of luck

(36)Obasanjo Parades Himself As Being Humble And Knowledgeable. Another humble lie. In his book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo–Obasanjo Wager, Ebenezer Babatope described Obasanjo as “ … suffering from a complex problem which makes him think only him can solve Nigeria’s problems … ” while in his book titled Beckoned To Serve, Shehu Shagari wrote that “… [Obasanjo falsely] sees himself as a super administrator, super diplomat and a military genius …” So much for Obasanjo’s alleged humility and knowledgeability

(37)Obasanjo Portrays Himself As A Quintessence Of A Good Family Man. Another quintessential lie. In the book titled Bitter-Sweet. My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo, she wrote of how she once sold some of her gold jewelries to pay the school fees of 2 of her children attending Corona Schools, Victoria Island, Lagos State, Nigeria because their father Olusegun Obasanjo bluntly refused to pay and on page 81 of the same book, she explained that when Enitan (their 6th child) fell ill and was hospitalised, “ … it was [former Inspector General Of Nigerian Police Force] M.D Yusuf who paid the hospital bill … ” Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December, 2013 that “ … of course [my father] is the great pretender, making people believe [he] has a good family life and a good relationship with [his] children but once in a while [his] pretence gets cracked …”

(38)Obasanjo Speaks Of Himself As Being A Fearless Old Soldier. This is a fearless lie. When then-Nigerian ruler General Sanni Abacha sentenced Obasanjo to death for his alleged role in a planned (but not yet executed) coup, Obasanjo openly burst into tears in front of the press both national and international. No fearless soldier will weep openly because of being sentenced to death (Iraqi General Saddam Hussein, Nazi German Reich Marshall Herman Goering, etc were sentenced to death in front of world press but they did not weep like Obasanjo but rather accepted their fate like any original fearless soldier does). Obasanjo’s profuse tears plausibly touched a soft spot in the usually-ruthless Abacha because few days later, Abacha commuted Obasanjo’s death sentence to life imprisonment. So much for a crying ex–general

(39)Obasanjo Once Accused Tinubu Of Nepotism. Another lie. Tinubu has never been a nepotist because after he spent 8 years as a governor (which he contested with several candidates of other political parties), his wife Oluremi Tinubu became a senator only after contesting against and defeating candidates of other political parties and his daughter Folashade Tinubu–Ojo (who studied marketing in a respectable international university) emerged as the Iyaloja (market leader) of Nigeria only after delegates from each state in Nigeria voted her in but as for Obasanjo, his daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello became a Commissioner Of Health in OgunState, Nigeria without contesting for the post while his son Gbenga Obasanjo was appointed presidential special adviser by Olusegun Obasanjo himself during his (Obasanjo’s) 8-year presidential tenure. In other words Obasanjo is the real nepotist, not Tinubu, so he (Obasanjo) should stop calling others nepotist

(40)Obasanjo Usually States That He Willingly Handed Over Charles Taylor To International Criminal Court. This is another lie. Despite all the war crimes of Charles Taylor in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and even Senegal (watch the U.S movies titled Lord Of War and Blood Diamonds for more details on Charles Taylor’s direct and indirect contributions to mass killing), Obasanjo initially resolved to protect Charles Taylor from prosecution (which has always been a common behaviour among African leaders even when there is overwhelming evidence of foul play by the person being defended. See page 187 of the book Survey Of Nigerian Affairs, 1975 by Oyeleye Oyediran (ed.) to see how Nigeria’s external affairs minister Colonel Joseph Garba passionately defended the human flesh-eating mass murderer Idi Amin of Uganda when U.S Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger verbally attacked Idi amin at the 30th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1975) which was why he gave him (Charles Taylor) political assylum in Nigeria and pampered him like a king. It was until U.S President George H.W Bush, Jnr humiliated Obasanjo by refusing to see him (when he went on a state visit to USA) unless he handed over Charles Taylor to the International Criminal Court that Obasanjo reluctantly handed over Charles Taylor to ICC (google the article “Charles Taylor. A Man Betrayed” on the internet to see more details)

(41)Obasanjo Stated In His Book My Watch That Yorubas Never Had A Single Leader i e No Asiwaju. This is a blatant lie. 2 weeks after being released from Calabar Prison (and at the exact prison cell the record-breaking multi-talented Herbert Macaulay was once locked up) by General Yakubu Gowon in 1966, the enormously popular Chief Obafemi Awolowo was unanimously elected as the Asiwaju (the overall leader) of Yorubaland during a meeting convened on 12 August , 1966 by the military administrator of Western Nigeria General Adeyinka Adebayo and having in attendance all the traditional rulers in Yorubaland and all the politicians(both Awolowo supporters and opponents like Dauda Adegbenro, Lateef Jakande, Dr Koye Majekodunmi, Chief T.O.S Benson, Chief Adisa Akinloye , Dr Tunji Otegbeye, etc ) in Yorubaland (for more details , see the books(a) Onward Soldier Marches On : A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (b)Adventures In Power Book One : My March Through Prison by Obafemi Awolowo, and (c) the article titled “Obasanjo Is Distorting History” by Olusegun Osoba , Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 15 August , 2015 , page 20) . In other words, Obasanjo ‘s claim in his book My Watch that Yorubas have never had a single leader (i e Obafemi Awolowo and Bola Tinubu respectively have never been or is an Asiwaju ) is blatantly false and simply confirmed him a liar

(42)Obasanjo Usually Tells The World That He Supports Gender Equality. This is a quality lie. In the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, Olusegun Obasanjo’s wife Oluremi Obasanjo wrote in details how he (Obasanjo) slapped her , kicked her, assaulted her endlessly, tortured her psychologically, drove her out of her matrimonial home , once got her arrested and detained, and even once threatened to kill her younger brother , all because of her complaints about Obasanjo’s ceaseless extramarital sexual adventures. Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December , 2013 that “… getting back to my mother, I still remember … [my father Olusegun Obasanjo] beating her up continually when we were kids . What kids can forget that kind of violence against their mother? [My father’s] maltreatment of women is legendary. Many of [my father’s] women have come out to denounce [him] in public but since [his] madness is also part of the madness of the [Nigerian] society, it is the women that are usually ignored and mistreated …’’ So much for Obasanjo’s support of gender equality

(43)He Portrays Himself As A Truth Teller. Another lie. During his 70th birthday in March 2007, Obasanjo stated on a national television that he has 6 children but 7 years later in his 2014 book titled My Watch, he wrote that he has 21 children. So much for Obasanjo’s penchant to tell the truth

(44)The Title Of His Book This Animal Called Man Was Self-Given. Another very big lie. Due to the repeated maltreatment and humiliation she suffered from her husband Olusegun Obasanjo , Mrs Oluremi Obasanjo was the person that first used to refer to her husband Olusegun Obasanjo as “the animal called man” both in his presence and in his absence (she probably adapted this phrase from the title of the popular 1972 U.S cowboy movie titled An Animal Called Man ). Years later, Obasanjo would later light-heartedly adapt the derogatory phrase for the title of his book This Animal Called Man even though the book had nothing to do with the story of his family’s internal troubles

(45)He Gives The Impression That He Was A No-Nonsense Soldier. Another nonsensical lie. Obasanjo was truly part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Congo during the bloody Congo Crises of the early 1960s but on a certain day during his tour of the duty in Congo, a group of militiamen captured him, locked him in the boot of a car and drove the car around town till the evening before they later decided to release him from the car boot. Obasanjo himself wrote (in the book titled Nzeogwu and authored by himself Olusegun Obasanjo) that his captors were heavily drunk and that he had in his belt a fully-loaded army pistol yet he strangely made no attempt whatsoever to escape from his captors for a whole day until released (fast-drawing his gun and shooting some bullets up would have scared the heavily drunk militiamen away). So much for Obasanjo’s no-nonsensical soldiering

(46)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That As A Soldier, He Stayed Away From Politics. Another lie. Many of the statements General Obasanjo made before the 1979 Nigerian Presidential Elections clearly showed that he was openly in support of National Party of Nigeria’s Shehu Shagari ( who eventually “won” ) and therefore was a political soldier and his insistence when he became the commander of Nigeria’s 3rd Marine Commandos in 1969 during Nigeria Civil War that combat soldiers should be paid their full salaries at the war front (as opposed to standard military practise since soldiers at the war front have nothing to buy on the battle field and plenty money in their pockets will only divert their attention from winning the war to safeguard the contents of their pockets, which might in turn make them orchestrate self–inflicted injuries on themselves to be able to be discharged from the war front to spend their money) showed that he was very political even as a soldier because it earned him cheap popularity among the rank and file soldiers but deep scorn among the officers (both commissioned and non-commissioned) because it contributed to the protraction of the civil war

(47)Obasanjo Claims He Has No Grudge Against Awolowo. Another grudging lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasanjo said that “ …every Nigerian has the right to vote for the candidate he or she chooses , including the candidate that promises free education and free wives … ” This clearly was a mockery of Awolowo whose party Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN manifesto promised free education , free health care , etc if voted in. If Obasanjo had no grudges against Awolowo, he wouldn’t have mocked him in such a puerile manner

(48)Obasanjo Presents Himself As Being Free Of Financial Corruption. This is a corrupt lie. In his autobiography book titled My Watch, Obasanjo described Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (who is the Asiwaju of Yorubaland and the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom) as being “… corrupt to the marrow…” even though he gave no factual evidence of the so-called “corruption to the marrow” but Obasanjo himself is yet to explain to Nigerians how he garnered 8.5billion naira to build himself the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (which made the Bruno Kreisky Prize-winning human rights activist lawyer Gani Fawehinmi sue him to court) so Nigerians should ask themselves who is really the corrupt-to-the-marrow personality

(49)Obasanjo Believes He Is Internationally-Respected. This is a lie. International film company Sony Pictures released a highly commercially–successful movie titled District 9 in 2009 which featured an unkempt South Africa-based paraplegic villain named Obesandjo (which was pronounced exactly as Obasanjo) who was a superstitious Nigerian illegal arms dealer, who ate human flesh for ritual purposes, who was a pimp that had several prostitutes under his control and who was the leader of a heavily-armed criminal gang. Even though the Nigerian ministry of information (then having Dora Akunyili as its minister) banned the film in Nigeria because of the way it indirectly ridiculed Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, the movie still enjoyed huge commercial success worldwide. Due to this fact, it could be firmly established that Obasanjo has been accorded international disrespect in addition to the few international respect he has been accorded

The thousands of words above (that explained the 49 points above) are enough for any person that is initially not sure to now clearly understand why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with Olusegun Obasanjo. This is article, as thoroughly fact-checked against several sources of information as it is, should not be seen to mean that Obasanjo is the only Nigerian that lies even when confronted with facts (Nigerian ex-president Jonathan stated on a national television that he will not re-contest his presidential seat but few years later, he denied ever saying such even when confronted with video recordings of his initial promise), nor should it be construed to mean that Obasanjo had never spoken a word of truth (his description of Nigerian ex-president Jonathan as “ … [a very dangerous] moving train who was providentially stopped [by the 2015 Nigerian Presidential Election] from bringing down Nigeria … ” was exact and correct as stated in the article “Jonathan’s Train Would Have Crushed Me” by Olusegun Obasanjo, Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 25 April, 2015, page 5) but the present article is based on Obasanjo’s numerous lies (other researchers are encouraged to write about his truths, or the truths or lies of any Nigerian or non-Nigerian they have facts on), two of which are the reasons why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with him (Obasanjo). Nothing needs to be further said about why Soyinka is quarrelling with Obasanjo


Engr Rotimi Fabiyi (MNIM,MNSChE, MNSE, COREN Reg),

                                                                        P.O Box 1709, Ikorodu Town, Lagos State Nigeria

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