Ahead of the 30th anniversary of June 12, 1993 election annulment, the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disserted Nigeria’s challenges over the years and disclosed that the country would have been ruled by a distinguished leader, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, but Nigeria’s hopes were truncated by citizens that do not wish the country achieve any growth and development.
Obasanjo described Nigerians that denied Abiola a chance to rule the country after he presumably won the June 12, 1993 presidential election as bad belle people.
As gathered, bad belle, in Nigerian colloquial language indicate people that had bad blood for the late philanthropist and business mogul.
Although he did not mention any name, the former president could have been referring to an ex-head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, and other actors in the annulment of the general election held in the country barely 30 years ago.
The former president made the allegations on Wednesday during a speech at the Centenary Celebrations of Baptist Boys’ High School (BBHS) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. His speech was titled, ‘Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle’.
Meanwhile, he challenged the up-and-coming generations of the old boys to aspire the office of the President to make it three times the school produced Nigerian Presidents after himself and former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan.
“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.”
The former President also commended the missionaries of the Southern Baptist Convention in the United States for their “Great Commission work” which saw the establishment of the school as part of the development of Nigeria.
He said without BBHS, he would not have been what he is today. “Again, reminding us always of our character and conduct. 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,” he said.
“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.”
Unarguably one of the prestigious global citizens from Africa, Obasanjo was Nigerian military head of state between February 1976 and October 1979 as well as the country’s democratically elected President between 1999 and 2007.
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