According to Chief Obasanjo, the idea to establish the library was conceived in 1988, and a foundation was set up in 2002 to advise and promote the establishment and development of the project. The library was formally commissioned on March 4, 2017, and in attendance were top Nigerian politicians including Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the governor of Ogun state, Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
The library was established to acknowledge the contributions of the occupier of Nigeria‘s most important political seat, and also to provide an insight to the intricacies and challenges of the office of the president. The presidential library will serve as a place where archived documents and materials can be accessed by researchers, students and the general public hoping to learn more about the office holder and the complex decision-making processes that come with the job.
The museum and library are the two major places in the library complex. The library itself holds about fifteen million documents and two million books. The museum houses up to four thousand artifacts, which capture essential events in the history of Nigeria and modern Africa. The exhibits in the museum showcase the life of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, from his humble beginnings to his military career, his imprisonment and later life as a politician and statesman.
This is a large hangar that houses artifacts such as Chief Obasanjo’s first car, a military helicopter, a miniature warship and a special vehicle that was used by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Nigeria.
There are many attractions within the library complex including an open air amphitheatre for concerts, plays and other performances, a 1,000-seater auditorium and 100-room four-star hotel with facilities such as swimming pools, a tennis court, gym and sauna. The complex also has an amusement park and small wildlife park where animals such as ostrich, baboons and hyena can be seen in their enclosures. There is also the Bamboo Grove, which offers African cuisine and a bookshop. The highest point in the complex is known as the Rock of Inspiration, which offers visitors a great view of Abeokuta.