‘Bad belle’ stopped MKO Abiola from becoming president – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that late billionaire businessman, Chief MKO Abiola would have been president but for ‘Nigerian bad belle’ (envy).

Obasanjo said this on Wednesday in Abeokuta while delivering a lecture, “Eyin Ni Iwe Wa: You Are Our Epistle,” at the centenary celebrations of Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The former president said that the school helped to shape himself and quite a number of other notable Nigerians, including late sage, Obafemi Awolowo; the winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, MKO Abiola; and a former Judge of the International Court of Justice, Justice Bola Ajibola, among others.

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“Without BBHS, I would not be who I am,” Obasanjo said, adding that the school could have produced another Nigerian president in Abiola but for “bad belle”.

Bad belle is a Pidgin English expression meaning envy or jealousy.

Abiola presumably won the June 12, 1993 presidential election adjudged to be the fairest and freest in Nigeria’s history.

However, the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election, setting off a course of events that culminated in Abiola’s death in detention on July 7, 1998.

“Today, there are distinguished old boys in all walks of life, that is the private sector, academia, the military and paramilitary, civil society, traditional rulership, etc. Such is the present President of the Old Boys Association of BBHS, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku.

“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 the up-and-coming generations of old boys.

“What all these great products of BBHS have in common is godly virtue inculcated in them by the school. That was education plus.

“We carry it everywhere we go as an epistle written by BBHS to our families, our communities, our states, our country, our continent of Africa, and indeed our world.

“In conclusion, the class of 1979–84 had beautifully constructed the gate and road into the school. They also granted me the pleasure of making a financial contribution to that laudable effort. They had offered to name the road after me, for which I thanked them, but I had craved their indulgence, to which they have agreed to name the road after E. L. Akisanya, and the road becomes E. L. Akisanya Road and the gate E. L. Akisanya Gate,” Obasanjo said.

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