A former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday, narrated how he survived the February 1976 military coup d’etat, involving Lieutenant Colonel Buka Dimka.
Obasanjo said it was General Olu Bajowa (retd.) that indirectly saved him from being killed in the coup.
The former Head of State gave the revelation at the celebration of the 80th birthday of General Bajowa held in Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He described Bajowa, a former Commandant, Command and Staff College, Jaji, as a respectful and cultured man.
During the ceremony, the former President told the audience a story of how he was indirectly saved from being killed during the coup.
Obasanjo 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 he is, I would have gone with the coup.
“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 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 little 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,”
Describing Bajowa as a performing soldier, Obasanjo revealed that Bajowa performed very well when he (Obasanjo) drafted him to go and lead 11 Battalion during the nation’s civil war.
He emphasised that any job that Bajowa could not do, no one else could do it.
Earlier, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, had called on owners of local radio stations in the state to dwell more in educating and disseminating information in local languages.
He made the call while inaugurating a new radio station in commemoration of the 80th birthday of General Bajowa (retd.) at Okitipupa. The station is founded by Bajowa.
The governor commended General Bajowa for the role he played towards the development of the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
In his address, Bajowa explained 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 benefits of democracy at the grassroots level.”