Obasanjo, Olusegun

Obasanjo, Olusegun

(ōlo͞o`shĕgo͞on ōbā`sănjō), 1937–, Nigerian military officer and political leader, b. Abeokuta. Obasanjo, who joined the army in 1958 and rose quickly to general, was a key commander during the secession of BiafraBiafra, Republic of,
secessionist state of W Africa, in existence from May 30, 1967, to Jan. 15, 1970. At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
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 (1967–70). He was Gen. Murtala Muhammad's deputy during his presidency, and succeeded him when Muhammad was assassinated in 1976. In 1979, Obasanjo voluntarily stepped down after the election of President Shehu ShagariShagari, Alhaji Shehu,
1925–, president of Nigeria (1979–83). In 1978 he helped form the National party, and his subsequent election as president marked the end of 13 years of military rule in Nigeria.
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. A vocal opponent of Sani Abacha's military dictatorship in the early 1990s, Obasanjo was jailed in 1995 and released after Abacha's death in 1998. He became leader of the dominant People's Democratic party and was elected president in 1999, ending 16 years of military rule. Obasanjo announced that he would fight corruption and improve the economy. These goals have only been partially achieved at best, and Nigeria has struggled with renewed ethnic and religious strife. He was reelected in 2003, but the election was marred by vote rigging. His reputation was further tarnished by his subsequent attempts to change the constitution to permit a third presidential term and to thwart his vice president from running for president and by the blatant fraud in the 2007 presidential and legislative elections. He was succeeded (2007) as president by Umaru Yar'AduaYar'Adua, Umaru Musa
, 1951–2010, Nigerian politician, president of Nigeria (2007–10). Born into a family active in Nigerian political and military affairs, he was trained as a chemist at Ahmadu Bello Univ., Zello (B.Sc, 1975; M.Sc. 1980).
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. Subsequently, various government bodies investigated possible corruption involving Obasanjo, his family, and his associates.
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