Obasanjo noted that his personal experience with educating the female child led him to include girl-child education as one of the Foundation's areas of focus.
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has narrated how his father was one of those who were against girl-child education during the early days of Nigeria.
Obasanjo revealed this at a World Diabetes Day event organised by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation (OOF).
He stressed the importance of contentment in all human endeavours at an event held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, saying it could reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Tuesday, Obasanjo noted that his personal experience with educating the female child led him to include girl-child education as one of the Foundation's areas of focus.
Obasanjo said, “When I started school in the village, I had a younger sister, after two years of starting school, my sister started school. I was first in my two years and as I went along, my sister was also first in the school she started. And suddenly, our father decided to pull her out of school, because a girl’s education ends in the kitchen; but I remained in school.
“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 UK, I will send her to school. And by the time I came back from UK, my father 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 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 person, be he or she,” he said.
Girls account for 60% of Nigeria's 10 million out-of-school children, facing barriers such as child marriage, poverty and discriminatory social norms. In Nigeria, 30% of girls aged 9-12 have never been to school at all.
Olufemi Fasumale, a professor of medicine, had also emphasised the necessity for the government to create laws that would encourage healthy living and laws that would increase access to high-quality healthcare services.