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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Nigeria Was Better When Obasanjo Was the Military Head Of State


I was a child in class one at the famous St. Gregory's College on the Lagos Island when former President, Chief Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ became the first Yoruba military Head of State of Nigeria in 1976 after the assassination of the military Head of State, Gen. Muritala Muhammad in a failed military coup led by Col. Dimka from the Middle Belt in February 1976. Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ took over the leadership of Nigeria from 1976 to 1979. And he was the best military Head of State after Gen. Yakubu Gowon.

Under Gen.Ọbásanjọ́, Nigeria was one of the fastest developing countries in the third world and was called the "Giant of Africa".
Every agency and commission of the Federal Government functioned very well and rich Nigerians did not need to travel to developed countries for better medical services, because Nigerian hospitals had some of the best medical doctors, nurses and other medical workers in the world with world class medical facilities; Nigerian schools from primary schools to the universities were among the best in the world and I won the First Prize in the popular Pop magazine West African essay competition with my essay on "What I Like Best About Nigeria" that celebrated how government functioned well for the common good of all Nigerians.

Gen. Olúṣẹ́gun Ọbásanjọ́ and former US president Jimmy Carter in Lagos in 1978. 
 
Nigerian literature was booming and the reading culture was boosted by active publishers and writers who sold hundreds of thousands of books in the Heinemann African Writers Series, Longman Drumbeat Series of African and Caribbean authors, Macmillan Pacesetters series, Evans and other series of both fiction and non-fiction. Nigerians loved to read like their Head of State, Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ who loved reading and writing books.

In sports, Nigerians excelled internationally making headlines in the world and in entertainment, Nigeria built the best National Theatre in Africa in Lagos and hosted the entire black race on earth at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977 and built Festac Town, the most modern town in West Africa and the Nigerian film industry produced some of the best films in Africa when there were no videos then and Nigerian music industry was also booming, but the great Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti of blessed memory insulted Nigerian soldiers by calling them "Zombies" and that provoked the military government to attack his Kalakuta Republic in Moshalasi near Yaba, Lagos. My elder sister was one of his sexy dancers and left before the mayhem. Ironically, Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ and Fela Kuti were from the same Ogun State of south west Nigeria, but they never liked each other. Then Fela Kuti also called Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ and the first Yoruba billionaire, Chief M.K.O Abiola of blessed memory, "International Thief Thief (ITT), to lampoon Chief Abiola who was then the Vice-President, Africa and Middle-East of ITT Corporation. And Chief Abiola was also from the same Ogun State. Both Chief Abiola and Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ attended the same Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta, where Abiola was the Editor of the school magazine "The Trumpeter" and Ọbásanjọ́ was the Deputy Editor.

National security was almost perfect under the military administration of Gen.Ọbásanjọ́ and Nigeria.
There was no insurgency and the crime rate was very low. There were more crimes in New York City in a month than the entire Nigeria in a year. 

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