Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

“I was born and bred in a village. I went to school by accident”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that everything he has done in his life is by accident, except for farming.

Obasanjo was Nigeria’s military head of state from 1976 to 1979, and he was elected president in 1999.


He completed his second term in office as democratically elected president in 2007.

While appearing on a radio station programme in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, on Saturday, Obasanjo said his father encouraged him to go into farming.

“I don’t like the word you used, ‘romance with farming’. I am a farmer. What do you mean by romance? Everything I have done in my life is by accident,” The Punch quoted the former president as saying after he was asked about his “romance with farming”.

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“The only thing that is not accidental is farming. Every other thing that I’ve been is by accident. And you called that romance? No! What do you mean by romance?

“You know my beginning. I was born and bred in a village. I went to school by accident. My father just said, ‘won’t you do something different?’ So I went into farming.

“When you look at countries that have made it, they developed agriculture. First, for the purpose of food security; second, for the purpose of processing what they get from their farms, which is the beginning of industrialisation.

“Third, to give it out as export, which is for the purpose of foreign exchange; and fourth, as a means of generating employment for the youth.”