Top 7 Controversies Involving Former President Obasanjo

Top 7 Controversies Involving Former President Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has been embroiled in a lot of controversies.

Many continue to wonder what makes Obasanjo thick and how he manages to get away with things other people would not even dare to try.

Like a cat with nine lives, Obasanjo came out of prison and assumed the number position in Nigerian in 1999. Though he did not have the support of his people in the Southwest, other parts of the country voted for him.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is not an ordinary Nigerian citizen as he has become some sort of political Mecca where countless politicians and political parties pay homage and source for advice concerning their ambition.

One thing about the former President is that he is never afraid of courting controversies, an action which has fetched him a lot of enemies and criticisms. But Obasanjo seems not to be bothered with his critiques as he keeps saying his mind, irrespective of who gets hurt.

Let’s take a look at some of the controversies that former President has been involved in.

1. Obasanjo dumps PDP in a very dramatic manner:

This is the most recent act of Obasanjo that has everybody talking. On Monday, February 16, Obasanjo officially left the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The fact that he left the party was not the issue but the manner he did it. He tore his party membership card in public, an action which the party described as an insult.

2. He wrote a controversial autobiography:

The former President’s autobiography, ‘My Watch’ which was unveiled at the at the Lagos Country club Ikeja, Lagos, on December 9, 2014, caused quite a stir in the country. The book strongly criticized a lot of top Nigerian politicians like president Goodluck Jonathan, Bola Tinubu, Gbenga Daniel and others. Despite being stopped by a court injunction, Obasanjo had gone ahead to launch the three-volume book.

Though the book was banned from being sold in Nigeria, the former President refused to be deterred and took it to other countries where it will not be banned.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Times: Controversial Figure

3. Attempted a third term:

Obasanjo was the only president who attempted a third term but was confronted. Obasanjo was embroiled in controversy regarding his "Third Term Agenda," a plan to modify the constitution so he could serve a third term as President. This led to a political media uproar in Nigeria. Obasanjo later denied his involvement in the third term agenda.

Speaking at the launch of his autobiography, he denied seeking a third term but admitted he knew about it. He had said: “Third term was not my agenda or intention although I would not say I didn’t know about it. I didn’t mastermind third term. Those who were telling me to go on were the governors that were going to benefit from it.”

4. Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan:

In 2013, the former president stirred up a storm with an explosive 18-page letter entitled “Before it is too late” to President Goodluck Jonathan detailing what he perceived to be the president’s shortcomings. This had sparked a lot of reactions in the country at the time.

5. Iyabo’s letter to her father:

Following Obasanjo’s 18-page letter, his daughter, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo had allegedly written a letter to her father. She had denounced Obasanjo as a self-seeking man lacking in all key expectations of a father and a leader, but often appearing quick to accuse others of the same ills. The letter was surrounded in controversy as the spokespersons and family members of Obasanjo alleged that the letter was forged. Meanwhile, Iyabo refused to denounce or deny her authorship of a blistering letter. Obasanjo had alleged that Iyabo was coerced by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to write the letter to him in a bid to embarrass him

6. His son Gbenga accused him of sleeping with his wife:

In 2008, Gbenga, the first son of the former president dropped a bombshell on his father’s alleged sexual intimacy with his estranged wife, Moji. Gbenga, in a sworn affidavit, submitted to a divorce court accused his father of sleeping with his wife. The former president was summoned in court in what appeared to be a messy divorce between Gbenga and his wife.

READ ALSO: Why I Decided To Tear My Membership Card – Obasanjo

7. The Odi massacre:

This was an attack carried out on November 20, 1999, by the Nigerian military during Obasanjo’s reign as president. Nearly 2500 civilians were reportedly killed in the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa state, while every building in the town except the bank, the Anglican church and the health center were burned to the ground. Report has it that massacre was ordered by Obasanjo. On his command the world witnessed one of the most tragic abuse of human right and genocide in Odi.



Nkem Ikeke avatar

Nkem Ikeke (Copy editor) Nkem Ikeke is currently a copy editor who also writes for the politics and current affairs desk on weekends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (2010), and has over 10 years of work experience in the media industry (Reporter, News Agency of Nigeria). Email:

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