By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday revealed how General Olu Bajowa (Rtd) saved him from being killed by Lt Colonel Buka Dimka in the February 13, 1976, military coup d’etat.
Obasanjo spoke at the celebration of the 80th birthday of General Bajowa in Igbotako, Okitipupa council area of Ondo state.
He said ” I want to say something about Olu either he knew it or he didn’t know. When Dimka coup came, if Olu had not been what and what he is, I would have gone with the coup.
“Let me tell you the story. Olu is very respectful. He is very conscious of our culture. He had a child, a boy, and wanted to name the child after me. He had to call me early in the morning, that morning that Dimka struck.
“And because Olu said he was coming, I had to wait a little bit. I waited beyond the time I would have gone out.
“Olu then came, he made the request and I granted the request. So, I was a bit late in going on the route that I normally took to work. And Reinumuje went ahead of me and they thought it was me and they shot his car. They shot his car, Murtala was shot.
“Indirectly, that is how Olu Bajowa saved my life,” he said
Obasanjo who described Bajowa as a performing soldier noted that he “performed very well when he(Obasanjo) drafted him to go and lead 11 Battalion during the nation’s civil war.
Speaking as the chairman of the occasion, Obasanjo said that “any job that Bajowa could not do, no one else could do.
Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu at the ceremony called on owners of local radio stations to dwell more in educating and disseminating information in local languages.
Akeredolu said this while inaugurating a new radio station in commemoration of the 80th birthday of General Olu Bajowa(rtd) at Okitipupa.
He commended General Bajowa for the pivotal role he’s performing towards the development of the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
The celebrant, General Bajowa said that the aim of establishing the radio station was “to complement the effort of Government in reviving and prompting Ikale, Ilaje, Ijaw-Apoi and Ijaw-Arogbo culture, tradition, custom and by extension the Yoruba heritage, which are now becoming abandoned or extinct.
“We also identify ourselves with the government effort to make information an important tool for social development and dissemination of the benefit of democracy at the grassroots level.”
He, therefore, assured the governor that the station(Awawa Radio 94.1fm) “will support the administration in the provision of the necessary information on your government programmes and actions.
In his sermon, the Lord Bishop of Diocese On The Coast Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev’d Olaoluwa Oluseyi Pirisola, charged the general to make the rest of life the best of his life.
Pirisola admonished him to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness as well as supporting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The minister called on him to serve him more diligently for the rest of his life.
The event was attended by dignitaries including Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Emitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Aboji of Ikaleland, George Babatunde Faduyile,
from different parts of the nation including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Emitan Ogunwusi, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Aboji of Ikaleland, George Babatunde Faduyile, other royal fathers from Southern Senatorial District of Ondo State and Admiral Akin Aduwo(rtd) among others.