I’m an admirer of President Olusegun Obasanjo, that is without question. I consider him to be consequential, historic and transformational.
I just think that there are just few figures in Nigeria’s history who have been as important to its evolution as this man.
And he’s also a deeply controversial figure. People do not have middle opinions about him. People have strong opinions.
What I have admired is how he still does what he will do, says what he will say, go where he will go, despite what anybody thinks. It’s not even common amongst ex-presidents. Some of them leave office and slink away. The pressure becomes too much.
But this man is truly fearless and I think that it comes from the thing he said. I asked him you know, some people think he’s corrupt, some people think he’s vindictive and some people have betrayed him. How does he cope with that?
He said it is easy to ignore the noise because there are only two people who can know you well. And once you have clarity about who you are and once you feel that you have a relationship with God that validates you, then that’s all that matters. Not what people say, not what people do however close to you they were or are or how influential they are to the definition of your legacy. But as long as you know yourself and you stand strong in your sense of self, then that is okay.
And he has certainly lived that truth. I think it’s impossible for him to have lived that kind of life he’s lived, to still be so deeply relevant across the world today if he didn’t have that sense of self-assuredness. That…’this is who I am, this is how I see myself, this is how I’m going to show up in the world regardless of what anybody thinks or says.’
There is something there to admire, to covet, to treasure.
This, no matter what you think of his decision, is a life absolutely and thoroughly well lived.
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