1976 coup: Gen Bajowa saved me from being killed by Dimka ― Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday said he was saved from being killed by General Olu Bajowa, during the military coup d’etat led by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Dimka on February 13, 1976.
Obasanjo made this revelation in Igbotako in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State during the celebration of 80th birthday of General Olu Bajowa (Retd).
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 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 take to work. And Col. Raymond Matthew Dumuje (retd) 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 described Bajowa as a complete professional and performing soldier, who performed very well when he was drafted to lead 11 Battalion during the nation’s civil war.
Obasanjo who doubles as the chairman and compere at the birthday reception held in the compound of General Bajowa, emphasised that any job that Bajowa could not do, no one else could do.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu called on owners of local radio stations to dwell more in educating and disseminating information in local languages.
Akeredolu made the call while inaugurating a new radio station in commemoration of the 80th birthday of General Bajowa (retd) at Okitipupa.
He commended Bajowa for the pivotal role he had been playing towards the development of his community and the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
Responding, Bajowa disclosed 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 assured the state governor that the station (Awawa Radio 94.1fm) “will support the administration in the provision of 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.
He admonished him to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness as well as support the gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve him more diligently for the rest of his life.

The event was attended by many dignitaries from different parts of the nation including Admiral Akin Aduwo (retd); the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Emitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II; Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo; the Aboji of Ikaleland, George Babatunde Faduyile, and several royal fathers from Southern Senatorial District of Ondo State among others.


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