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‘Bad belle’ prevented Abiola from becoming president – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday said “bad belle” (envy) prevented Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, from…

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday said “bad belle” (envy) prevented Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, from becoming president.

He spoke yesterday at a lecture titled “Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle,” which was delivered as part of the centenary celebrations of the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The event was organised by the Old Boys Association of the BBHS. Obasanjo said without the moral virtues and sound education impacted on him by BBHS, he would not have become what he is today.

He also noted that the school moulded the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, and 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.

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Obasanjo noted that aside from education, the 100-year-old school had at different times inculcated godly virtues in all its products.

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.

Obasanjo said, “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, MKO 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,” Obasanjo said. He urged the new generation to preserve the moral virtues and discipline impacted on them by the school and pass it on in perpetuity.

The former president said, “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 impact 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.”


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