By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo revealed yesterday how General Olu Bajowa (Rtd) saved him from being assassinated by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Dimka in the military coup on February 13, 1976.
Obasanjo spoke at General Bajowa’s 80th anniversary celebration in Igbotako, Okitipupa council area of Ondo state.
He said “I want to say something about Olu either I knew it or I didn’t. When Dimka’s hit came, if Olu hadn’t been what and what he is, I would have gone with the hit.
“Let me tell you the story. Olu is very respectful. He is very aware of our culture. He had a child, a boy, and he wanted to name him after me. He had to call me early in the morning, that morning that Dimka hit.
“And since Olu said he would come, I had to wait a bit. I waited beyond the time it would have come out.
“Then Olu came, made the request and I granted the request. So, I was a little late for the route I normally take to get to work. And Reinumuje got ahead of me and they thought it was me and they shot the car. They shot his car, Murtala was shot.
“Indirectly, this is how Olu Bajowa saved my life,” he said.
Obasanjo, who described Bajowa as a high-performance soldier, noted that “he performed very well when (Obasanjo) recruited him to go and lead the 11th Battalion during the nation’s civil war.
Speaking as chairman of the occasion, Obasanjo said that “whatever work Bajowa couldn’t do, no one else could.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu at the ceremony called on local radio station owners to do more to educate and spread information in local languages.
Akeredolu said this when inaugurating a new radio station in commemoration of General Olu Bajowa (rtd) 80th birthday in Okitipupa.
He commended General Bajowa for the pivotal role he is playing in the development of the state’s Southern Senate District.
The celebrant, General Bajowa said that the objective of establishing the radio station was “to complement the Government’s effort to revive and advance the culture, tradition, custom and by extension of Ikale, Ilaje, Ijaw-Apoi and Ijaw-Arogbo and, by extension, the Yoruba heritage, which are now being abandoned or extinct.
“We also identify with the government’s effort to make information an important tool for social development and the dissemination of the benefits of democracy at the grassroots level.”
Therefore, he assured the governor that the station (Awawa Radio 94.1fm) “will support the administration in providing the necessary information on the programs and actions of its government.
In his sermon, the Lord Bishop of the Nigerian Coast Church Diocese (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Olaoluwa Oluseyi Pirisola, charged the general to make the rest of his life the best of his life.
Pirisola admonished him to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as to support the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The minister asked him to serve him more diligently for the rest of his life.
The event was attended by dignitaries such as Ooni from Ife, Oba Adeyeye Emitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Osemawe de Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Aboji from Ikaleland, George Babatunde Faduyile,
from different parts of the nation, including Ooni from Ife, Oba Adeyeye Emitan Ogunwusi, Osemawe from Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Aboji from Ikaleland, George Babatunde Faduyile, other royal fathers of the Ondo State Southern Senate District, and Admiral Akin Aduwo ( rtd) among others.