Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said he practically turned a preacher of the gospel to other prisoners when he was incarcerated in Yola Prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the defunct military regime led by late Gen Sani Abacha. Like the Biafran leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Obasanjo was wrongly thrown into jail for a crime he knew nothing about.
Obasanjo was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995 after he was convicted for his involvement in the plot to overthrow the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha disclosed this at the 50th anniversary of the Bible Society of Nigeria held at an event centre located in Onikan area of Lagos.
Obasanjo said though he was wrongly convicted in the phantom coup, he was happy during his incarceration and decided to use the period to rededicate his life to service of God and humanity.
The former president whose lecture at the BSN’s annual lecture dwelt on, “Man in pursuit of happiness,” added that, “When I was in prison, I had joy. I was always bubbly, teaching and preaching to other prisoners.
“It was because of the joy I had found in God, although it can be said to be abnormal that one is in prison and is happy. I was put in jail, even though I didn’t deserve it.”
Other notable Nigerians at the ceremony include former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon; former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and chairman, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Elder Felix Ohiwerei.
In their separate goodwill messages, Gowon and Shonekan thanked the BSN for appointing them as patrons and urged the society to continue its good work aimed at making the society better for all to live.
The Bible Society of Nigeria is a non-profit-making interdenominational Christian organisation that translates the Bible into local languages, publishes, distributes and raises funds for Bible work.
It is on record that the society has the complete Bible in 20 Nigerian Languages, the New Testament in 60 local languages.