So, as we were saying, the Presidential library is a treasure trove. Beautiful and meaningful Art curated through a nationwide competition ushers you into the building and an experience you could never have envisaged.
I have never seen such record-keeping in Nigeria, the perfectly preserved and expertly displayed documents and other items blew my mind. The displays rank favorably with any museum or library in any western country since they are our benchmark anyway.
There are personal notes from dignitaries all over the world that Baba has interacted with, their photographs taken with him were on the walls. Madiba, Fidel Castro, the Queen of England, Mugabe, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kufour, Kofi Anan, and many other world leaders.
The notes and letters showed that President Obasanjo enjoyed/enjoyed close personal relationships with these leaders and their interactions did not end with state visits. Clearly, he was able to engage with them as an intellectual equal and they sought him out beyond the necessity of his office.
One thing struck me particularly; Baba’s report cards from various schools in his academic journey were displayed. His results were consistent. He came first ALL the time. So all you parents that claim to have come first with no evidence, I hail you!
A poignant section created in honour of Stella Obasanjo has some of her outfits and some really cute shoe and bag combos on display. Likewise, letters from his wives and children showed the soft and vulnerable side of the legend. To his children, he was Daddy and that was it.
The entire experience was a kaleidoscope of visual and intellectual excellence.
Then there was the area dedicated to his time in prison. Brilliant reproduction with some of the original items in situ. You found yourself in there with him.
Our guide, the ever-gracious Vitalis Ortese, MD Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library took us through an emotional narrative and talked at length about the books that Baba wrote while in prison. Mostly books that stemmed from and spoke to his Christian faith.
Indeed, Adversity is a fuel; you can either use it to burn yourself out or light the flames of your passion. ©️IfeOluwaF
You cannot control the beat of the drums of life, but you can choose how you dance to it. ©️IfeOluwaF
Clearly, Baba’s spirit remained unbroken throughout his prison experience. I would love to read those books.