Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again pledged support for girl-child education, saying woes betide anyone against the empowerment of the female gender.
Obasanjo also narrated how he resolve that the girl-child must be educated after his sister was pulled out of school and given away in marriage.
He stated this at the Year 2022 World Diabetes Day, organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation held at the Main Auditorium of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“When I started school in the village, I had a junior sister, after two years of starting school, my sister started school,” Obasanjo said, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi on Tuesday.
“I came first in my two years and as I went along, my sister also came first in the school she started and suddenly, our father decided that because a girl-child education ends in the kitchen, pulled her out of school (while) I remained in school.”
The 85-year-old former Nigerian military head of state between February 1976 and October 1979 and democratically elected President between 1999 and 2007 said no one can relegate his eldest child who is a female, noting that male children should not be given preference over female children.
“And that singular action made the difference between her development into adulthood and my development into adulthood. And, I thought that when I come back from the UK, I will send her to school. And by the time I came back from the UK, my wife had given my sister to marriage and that ended my sister’s education.
“Then, I vowed that whatever I can do for girl-child education, I will always do. And this unfortunate idea of girl-child education ending in the kitchen is unimportant.
“The culture of giving preference to a male child over a female child is an idea and culture that must be killed. Woe betides anyone who attempts to relegate my eldest child, Iyabo. Iyabo will crush such a person, be he or she,” he said.