Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed what he considered as the factor that prevented Chief MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election from becoming president.
Speaking on Wednesday at a lecture titled “Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle,” to mark the centenary celebrations of the Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, Ogun State, Obasanjo said “bad belle” did not allow Abeokuta produce another president.
He said without the moral virtues and sound education impacted on him by BBHS, he would not have become what he is today.
Obasanjo also noted that the school moulded the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, former Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Prince Bola Ajibola, among others, into what they all became in life.
Awolowo was at BBHS in 1928; Ajibola graduated in 1955; Abiola was among the 1956 set, while Obasanjo left the school in 1957.
He explained that aside education, the 100-year-old school had at different times inculcated godly virtue on all its products.
“Without BBHS, I would not have been what I am,” the former president said.
The retired general said apart from him, the BBHS would have had MKO Abiola as another former President, but “bad belle” prevented him from becoming President.
“Today, there are distinguished old boys in all walks of life, i.e.private sector, academia, military and paramilitary, civil society, traditional rulership, etc. Such is the present President of Old Boys Association of BBHS, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku.
“I believe that I must not be too forgetful to leave out yours truly, the son of Obasanjo, a modest war-victorious General and former Military Head of State and former President of Nigeria. Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the first communication industry millionaire in Nigeria and the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election who was in a class by himself.
“If not for Nigerians’ bad belle, M.K.O. Abiola would have been President and with me as President, we would have needed one more old student of BBHS to be President for us to permanently locate it in BBHS after three times. And that is a challenge for up-and-coming generations of old boys,” he said.
The former president urged the new generation to preserve the godly virtues and discipline imparted on them by the school, and pass it on in perpetuity.
“What all these great products of BBHS have in common is godly virtue inculcated in them by the school. That was education plus. We carry it to anywhere we go as epistle written by BBHS to our families, our communities, our states, our country, and our continent of Africa and indeed our world.
“We must impart with humility, honesty, integrity, wisdom, courage, competence and fear of God; these must continue to be our characteristics and our attributes to make a change for good wherever we are. We must be different.
“In conclusion, the class of 1979/84 had beautifully constructed the gate and road into the School. They also granted me the pleasure of making financial contribution to that laudable effort. They had offered to name the road after me for which I thanked them but I had craved their indulgence and to which they have agreed to name the road after E. L. Akisanya and the road becomes E. L. Akisanya Road and the gate E. L. Akisanya Gate,”he said.