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‘Woe betide them’, Obasanjo berates opponents of girl-child education

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned opponents of girl-child education in Nigeria saying, ‘woe betide such persons’.

Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during a programme organised in commemoration of this year’s World Diabetes Day.

He said his personal experience with girl-child education made him include girl-child education as an area of concentration for his Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation.

The former President narrated how his father pulled his younger sister out of school because he believed ‘the girl-child education ends in the kitchen’.

He insisted that the idea of prioritising male-child education over the girl-child must be ‘killed’.

Obasanjo said, “When I started school in the village, I had a junior sister, who was enrolled in school two years after I had joined the school… and suddenly, our father decided that – because a girl-child education ends in the kitchen, pulled her out of school – I remained in school.

“And that singular action made the difference between her development into adulthood and my development into adulthood. I had a plan that whenever I return from the UK, I will re-enrol her back to school. But by the time I came back from the UK, my wife had given my sister out in 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 betide anyone who attempts to relegate my eldest child, Iyabo. Iyabo will crush such a person, be he or she,” he said.

 

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