The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee composed of eminent figures, including two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The above statement is culled from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation ( The first prize was awarded in 2007 to Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique who left office in 2005. Obasanjo “held” Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 and should have bagged the award by now. He held Nigeria because he controlled the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, and the Security forces. He was Emperor and hounded adversaries with his EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and the CCB (Code of Conduct Bureau) in the name of transparency, financial accountability, and due process. He even had a Due Process Office attached to the Presidency. President Obasanjo railed against corruption at any given opportunity.

If Olusegun Obasanjo did not win the Mo Ibrahim prize given his pronouncements, and the spate of anti-corruption measures he instituted during his reign; God may find it difficult to win the Mo Ibrahim Prize. Here lies the dilemma faced by the Committee. How can a man who came into office broke, retire as a billionaire? How does Obasanjo justify the wealth of his Chief Domestic Aide, who went from zero to Naira trillionaire in 8 years? How does he explain the use of financial extortion in building a Presidential Library while still in office? Can a transparent leader try to change his country’s constitution to perpetuate his hold on office? What is Olusegun Obasanjo’s reason for extrajudicial killings carried out by security forces and hired assassins during his rule? Olusegun Obasanjo had his own attorney general murdered during his reign and the assassins are still roaming the land free. The list can go on forever (

After examining all the evidence, the Prize Committee decided that President Olusegun Obasanjo talked transparency and acted turbidly. All his outbursts about corruption was to pull wool over the peoples’ eyes making their eyes opaque or turbid and thereby obscuring his lack of transparency. His due process was to ensure that all transactions went through the due process of corruption that was ingrained in his administration. If you did not follow the rules of the corrupt game, the due process body will either ensure compliance, failing which, you are excluded from the game. Africastallestman has always doubted the sanctimoniousness of General Olusegun Obasanjo and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has confirmed this suspicion. There is an Igbo saying that goes thus, “Soo bee okwu mu, eso na omume mu.” It translates, “Act my words and do not act my deeds.” Obasanjo’s actions were diametrically opposed to his pronouncements!

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