Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was showered with encomiums by Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and other leaders like the Liberian President and Economic Community of West African States Chairperson, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as his presidential library was inaugurated on Saturday.
Osinbajo described Obasanjo as a “world statesman” and an “African icon”, who had the opportunity to make history, live long and document such history by establishing a presidential library.
The acting president said history could come in form of writing good things about oneself, noting that the most important advantage about history is that it preserves lessons, failures and the successes of the past.
He said, “Very few human beings have a chance of making history and fewer still have a good fortune of making history and writing it. Baba Olusegun Obasanjo is certainly one of those rare human beings.
“We diminish his vision if we do not recognise his place as a world statesman as evident by the representatives of the world that are present here today (Saturday). I’m sure that visitors to this library, especially young Nigerians, will learn from both what they see and hear but perhaps what is unsaid.”
Osinbajo noted that Nigerians should imitate Obasanjo in selfless service to the country and to humanity, as “our place in the history of our society is not what we take from it but what we manage to give it; the more selfless the giving, the more historic”.
He said Obasanjo had been tied intricately to the country’s history from independence, defending the nation during the Civil War, becoming a military head of state and a two-term civilian president.
Also speaking on the occasion, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said the library, modelled after the American Presidential Library, would be a veritable source of intellectual materials for Nigeria and Africa’s socio-political development.
In his welcome address, Obasanjo thanked everyone made the dream of having presidential library come to reality, adding that the idea came up in 1988.
He said, “The aim of establishing the presidential library is three-fold: to preserve the past, capture the present and inspire the future.”