January 19, (THEWILL) – Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, would have emerged as President, but for what he described as “Nigeria’s bad belle”, a local metaphor for Envy.
Obasanjo stated this while speaking at the Centenary Celebrations of Baptist Boys’ High School (BBHS) in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
In his speech titled: “Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle”, the former President urged the future generation of the old boys to take it as a challenge to ensure that another product of the college emerges President of Nigeria in future.
Noting that the BBHS made him the man he is in life by positioning him in good stead, the former President said his alma mater would have had two old boys as ex–presidents of the country, “If not for Nigerian bad belle” that thwarted the ambition of late MKO Abiola.
The elder statesman reckoned that had Abiola succeeded and with him making the number two, they would have needed one more old student to be president of Nigeria for it to be permanently located in BBHS, after three times of producing a president for the nation.
Obasanjo recalled how the school made him and his generation better persons through discipline and character, molding, especially the morning devotions led by Mr E. L. Akinsanya.
He said Akinsanya knew the name of every student in the school and made them to be conscious of their duties and conduct as representatives and ambassadors of the school wherever they go, reminding them to always be conscious of their character and conduct.
He also paid glowing tributes to all the teachers and administrators who had made great contributions to his life and that of his school mates, as well as to the development of Nigeria, even as he led the old boys to observe a minute silence in honour and in memory of the teachers, describing them as “great servants of God.”
Obasanjo charged the coming generation of BBHS old boys to preserve and pass on in perpetuity the godly virtue the school inculcated in them.
According to him, they must impact with humility, honesty, integrity, wisdom, courage, competence and fear of God to make a change for good wherever BBHS old boys are found.
“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 Nigerian 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.
“We could proudly say BBHS with education plus. And for me, it stood me in good stead throughout my life so far. Without BBHS, I would not have been what I am. Once again, I am grateful to those that I have mentioned and seniors, classmates and juniors that I had the opportunity to interact with while in the BBHS. I also want to appreciate all the teachers that taught in BBHS from inception until I was admitted to the school and all those who have taught and are teaching since I left until today”, he said.