So, I made a recent visit to the Olusegun Obasanjo Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Ogun State is in the south west part of Nigeria and Olusegun Obasanjo was a two-time president. Once as a military head of state and a second coming as a civilian president. There are a lot of materials on president Obasanjo so I won’t dwell on him much. One thing I can say is that he is placed himself on the Nigerian map as one of our progressive leaders.
Back to the library. I think it would have been better to call this a museum than a library but we would stick to the name here. I think it is referred to as the OOL. It is a collection of Nigerian history worth checking out.
The edifice is beautifully designed by the Jimmy Carter foundation I hear. I think it is underrated for reasons I will highlight later.
Every =thing the former president considered as public property is housed here. From the bjcycle he rode to his farm in the seventies to the armoured tank he rode in during the civil war. I think his first car is also here. A volkswagon beetle popularly called Ijapa in the yoruba language. By the way, Ijapa means tortoise. Makes sense now? It also quite a slow car if you think about it now. I think the name has to do more with the shape than its pace. Well, I never thought about its name coined from the pace of a tortoise until now.
I really have lost my memories of the library as i visited about two weeks ago. I know there are three sections. Maybe four. Can’t remember the categorization but I do remember the first section contained various vehicles the former president had driven or been in. Another section probably contains his personal effects and the third contains items that could be considered national treasures. there is even a section for his late wife Mrs. Stella Obasanjo. This section included various outfits she wore for different memorable occasions.
Yes, I recall a setup of his prison cell with a bed, a fridge and a writing area. The room had a cell number which was unique in historical terms. This number was probably used as an after thought for historical purposes but the number escapes me right now. 311, 322? Really can’t remember the number or the story behind it.
I thought pictures should have been allowed but this was not the case and I proved to be a very difficult visitor for this reason.
I did take some pictures of the exterior which I would share. I recall the man-made lake which is fed through a natural river. A nice architectural piece. It has a bridge across which is built based on some military design. It has a special name but let’s just call it the wobbly bridge. Don’t worry, this one does not wobble for obvious reason but the design is ingeniously made to look like a make-shift structure.
A few Issues worth investigating
- Considering this is a national treasure, I don’t think restricting cameras is in the interest of the library/ museum
- The tour failed to direct us to the store which sadly is sparsely stocked for its size
- Failure to combine the visitation fee with the Zoo visit probably misses and opportunity for suggestive selling.
The zoo in a moment