James Sowole in Akure
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday disclosed that it was General Olu Bajowa that saved him from being killed by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Dimka in the February 13, 1976 military coup d’etat.
Obasanjo made the revelation at Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, while speaking at the celebration of Bajowa’s 80th birthday.
“I want to say something about Olu either he knew it or he did not 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 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,” he stated.
Describing Bajowa as a performing soldier, he revealed that Bajowa performed very well when he(Obasanjo) drafted him to go and lead 11 Battalion during the nation’s civil war.
In another development, the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has called on owners of local radio stations 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 Bajowa at Okitipupa.
The governor commended Bajowa for the pivotal role he’s performing towards development of the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
While speaking earlier, General Bajowa, disclosed that the aim of establishing the radio station was “to complement the effort of government in reviving and promoting Ikale, Ilaje, Ijaw-Apoi and Ijaw-Arogbo culture, tradition, custom and by extension the Yoruba heritage, which are now becoming abandoned or extinct.