2017: OOPL’s Golden Year – OBJ

The year 2017 has been described as the golden Year for the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

According to the Chief Promoter, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the first major achievement of the year was the Library’s formal commissioning on March 4.

At the grand opening ceremonies were leaders from across Africa, members of the British royalty and the diplomatic corps, state governors, Nigerian royal fathers, cultural apparatchiks, captains of industry, top government functionaries and members of the parliament.

That made the Library now accessible to the public, “bringing out the beauty and the magnificence of twelve years of planning, fund-raising, consultation, building and construction and installations”.

While “works of improvement, enhancement, innovation and additions continue on subsidiaries that have earlier been opened such as the Adire, the Village, the Church, Bamboo Park, the Rounda, the Marque, the Amphitheatre, the Workshop, the Green Legacy Resort and the Arrival Pavilion”, he observed.

With commencement of operations and the relocation of administrative staff to the main Library, four of the Chalets, which hitherto served as staff offices are currently being used as:

  • Tour Booking Office
  • Chief Promoter’s Reception,
  • Staff Club
  • Security Base
  • Other innovations have been completed, including the cleaning of the lake which has started functioning for boat rides (see story on boat cruise).

The Coffee Shop at the Arrival Pavilion is now operational and the whole of the Arrival Pavilion has been fully integrated with the base building as one unit joined by the Bailey bridge.

One of the newest developments is the Hydropower Generation Demonstration Project and water reticulation expected to serve the OOPL’s 32,196,198 square-metre complex.

A beautiful view of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State
OOPL: A Rich Land of Symphony, Contrasts

For most people, a library stores only books, but OOPL is an intriguingly complex setting – a national monument, a one-stop tourists’ destination

Strategically located, the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) has the luxury of being at the intersection of the two major roads that lead into the Abeokuta city-centre; the Presidential Boulevard and the long stretching MKO Abiola Way, named after the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election and business mogul, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.While the Boulevard leads to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, the second leads to Ibadan, once the largest city in West Africa and the political capital of Southwestern Nigeria. OOPL is unique as the first Presidential library outside of the United States of America.

A view of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta

The Presidential Library is primarily a historic, touristic, recreational and academic centre which aims at preserving the past, capturing the present, inspiring the future, projecting culture and promoting tourism through its various tourist attractions which include:

1.The Museum: Designed by Ralph Applebaum Associates, the world’s largest museum exhibition design firm, the museum tells the story of Nigeria before 1960, President Obasanjo’s humble beginnings, his career achievements as a soldier, a military Head of State, a 2-term civilian President, a farmer, family man, and his present position as an elder statesman and a mediator.

2. Arrival Pavilion: It houses an exhibition titled ‘Symbols of Authority’. Here, tourists will get to see so many artefacts including relics of the Nigerian civil war and the vehicle that conveyed President Obasanjo to and from prison

3.The Green Legacy Resort: A 4-star guest house with 153 rooms, guest chalets and a honeymoon suite, it also has standard swimming pools for adults and children, a gymnasium and beauty spa for steam baths, sauna and body massage. The Resort has special packages for different classes of clientele.

4. The Wildlife Park: A conservation centre and Zoo which has a collection of exotic animals like Lions, Spotted & Stripped Hyenas, Crocodiles, Snakes, Monkeys, Ostriches and lots more. On the grounds of the Park is an Archaeological Site that suggests that hunters and food gatherers inhabited the area thousands of years ago.

5. Rounda Fun Spot: it is an Amusement Park with outdoor and indoor games facilities for the entire family entertainment. It also serves as a spot for group leisure meetings, birthday parties and lots more.

6. Adire and African Fabrics Centre: “Adire” simply means Tie & Dye. It is an African batik that is indigenous to the Egba people here in Abeokuta. The Adire and African Fabrics Centre takes advantage of Abeokuta’s reputation for excellence in tie & dye techniques. Also on display are Kente, Tiv, Aso Oke, and fabrics from other parts of the country and African continent.

7. Other attractions within OOPL are, The Amphitheatre, designed for cultural dances and stage performances; the Bamboo Grove, Rock of Inspiration, the Squash Court, Five-aside Football Pitch, the Cultural village, Senior Citizens Centre, a 1000 seating-capacity Auditorium for conferences and seminars, an Event Centre for parties and an artificial Lake for water fun lovers.

8. The Presidential Library also has a standard Cinema hall for movie lovers, and two Faith Centres – the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King and the Baytu Salaam Mosque.

OOPL is also home to the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding (IACIU), a UNESCO-Category 2 institute and the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue (CHSD), a Waste Recycling Plant as well as a proposed Biomedical Centre.

OOPL is truly a unique tourists’ destination in Africa waiting to be explored!

With seasoned Tour Guides and friendly support staff across all units, a visit will sure be a remarkable and enjoyable one. And repeat visits will become expedient because additional facilities come up every quarter.

Since its formal opening on March 4, 2017, OOPL has been visited by A-listed personalities and agencies like:

Former President of Liberia – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Former President of South Africa – Thabo Mbeki

Former President of Ghana – John Kuffour

Former President of Nigeria –  Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Former Head of State of Nigeria – General Abdulsalam Abubakar

Vice President of Nigeria – Professor Yemi Osibanjo

Former UN Secretary General – Koffi Anan

British Prince – Michael of Kent

Ogun state Governor – Senator Ibikunle Amosun among others

Your too can be celebrated like them. Book a tour of the Presidential Library for any day of the week from 9am-5pm Mondays to Saturday and 10am on Sundays by phone on +234 – 809 723 0000; +234 – 809 724 0000 or by email on

Keep a date with us.


Archaeological sites within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta
History in stones: The OOPL Archaeological site

Over and over again, we emphasize that part of our mission at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) is to: preserve the past, capture the present, inspire the future and promote culture and tourism.

Therefore, one might say that the decision to build the first Presidential Library in Africa on this particular site in Abeokuta was fate. With OOPL’s mission to promote African culture and heritage, choosing a site with potential significance in Nigerian history and anthropology is a strange coincidence.

In the course of development work on the complex, several interesting sites were stumbled upon. Some of these sites include rocks that contained spherical dents frequently and unevenly distributed across the rocks.

A team of four archaeologists and anthropologists led by Professor JO Aleru from the department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, set out to examin these sites to determine their archaeological significance.

Principal among these are two sites located within the Wildlife Park, which are dated as far back as between 11,000 and 18,000 BC. Charcoal samples from the sites suggests that hunters and food gatherers inhabited them. The grinding hollows may be indicative of food processing or the pounding of Elu indigo dye.

In the Cactus grove, the discovered stone arrowheads may have been used for big West African forest game that has since become extinct in the region.

Whether you agree or choose to challenge these suggestions, it is safe to say that building a historical monument like the  OOPL complex among archaeological sites is a one beautiful coincidence. Typically, sites such as these that may hold archaeological or historical significance are often  destroyed or ignored. However, in the presence of an institution that understands the significance of preservation, this may be a milestone in taking archaeology in Nigeria and Africa forward.

Students on a tour of the museum at the Olusegun Obasanjo Library in Abeokuta

Arising from the just concluded International Museum Day celebrations, the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) has advocated the introduction of Museum Education into the Curriculum of Nigerian Schools.

This was among many other recommendations made by the expert speakers and panelists who made presentations at the occasion. The idea of Museum Education is such that recognizes the important role museums play in the preservation and transmission of knowledge products, that is, the histories and cultures of a nation from generation to generations. The survival of any society rests on the power of continuity and the ability of one generation to take learnings from the past to impact the present and to shape the future. Museums, as repositories of cultural and historical artifacts and archival materials, should therefore take the lead in this all important socialization responsibility.

Relentlessly striving to actualise its mission of preserving the past, capturing the present and inspiring the future, OOPL is continually devising means of using its museum to educating its audiences, particularly the youths in order not only familiarize them with their heritage, but also to empower them to be self-sufficient citizens and future leaders.

As a thought leader in this direction, OOPL has developed a two-pronged museum education programme for schools and other interested individuals or organisations. Christened the OOPL Museum Educational Services, the programme is designed to serve schools in two different ways:

  1. Schools visit the OOPL Museum
  2. The OOPL Museum visits schools

Attendance at the youth Governance Dialogue in OOPL Abeokuta

The Youth Governance Dialogue is designed as a Youth-adult learning platform for young people to engage the experiences of older and past political office holders, distilling from their philosophies and overriding principles on how to effectively engage the governance process.

The first edition of the event was a huge success which heralded the Youth Governance Dialogue into the ‘Not too Young to run Initiative’

One of the major lessons learnt from this event is, “If you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything” – Olusegun Obasanjo

For event Recommendations, Lecture Notes and Others Click Here

Students on the Bailey bridge, arriving at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta

The 18th of May 2017 was designated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) as International Museum Day, a day set aside for  museums and cultural institutions to highlight and reflect on their impact in the society.

The theme for this year’s celebrations was Museums and contested history: Saying the unspeakable in museums. According to ICOM, the intent is to encourage museums to play an active role in peacefully addressing traumatic histories globally.

As part of the activities marking this day, OOPL joined the global community of museums and cultural institutions by organising a one-day symposium and exhibition on The Nigerian Civil War: Looking Backwards, Looking Forward.The event included a special exhibition of archives and artefacts from the civil war and participants from primary, secondary and tertiary education.