Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday morning led hundreds of people on road walk for diabetes awareness in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, declaring that he still walk with agility at 80, despite being diabetic.
Obasanjo revealed that he was diagnosed of diabetes over 30 years ago but said the condition has not affected his daily functions because of efficient management of it, exercise and strict adherence to prescribed drugs for Diabetes.
The Ebora Owu who made this known to journalists in Abeokuta, shortly after completing a kilometer walk uphill along Abiola Way, recalled that his primary school Headmaster was also diagnosed of diabetes at 50 but managed to live up to 85 years, following proper management of the ailment.
According to him, diabetes does not kill if well managed, but only bares its fangs and kills those who do not give a damn about it.
Obasanjo who was joined in the road walk by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi from Osun State, the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, and members of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), lamented that many of the nation’s youth rarely exercise to remain fit.
He urged Nigerians, particularly those living with diabetes, to engage in regular exercise, use prescribed drugs faithfully and watch their diet to avoid being knocked down by diabetic disease.
“Diabetes is not a disease that should kill, I was diagnosed to be diabetic more than 30 years ago but rather, I am growing strong, if you don’t believe I am growing strong and you didn’t witness this walk, come and see me at night, you will know I am growing strong, come and see me in the morning, you will know I am growing, even in the afternoon, you will know I am growing strong.
“What is necessary is a management of diabetes. Some people said some diseases are incurable, but diabetes is manageable and compliant.
“My headmaster in primary school was diagnosed at the age of 50 and died at age 85, you will agree with he tried.
“What to do is that if you’re diabetic don’t be nonchalant about it and don’t eat carelessly. Three things are important, the food you eat, regular exercise and prescribed medication, those are the three most important things.
“You can be diabetic and still lives till 100, I don’t know when I would die but I am above 80 and many of the youth could not catch up with my pace during the exercise this morning, many of them were running to keep pace me.
“This is my message. Whether you’re diabetic or you have a family or friend with diabetic, diabetes is not a killer disease or it should not be a killer disease unless you are careless,” Obasanjo said.
Also, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi he was in Abeokuta to support the ex – President and his foundation in the walk for Diabetes awareness, and urge people to exercise regularly and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The Chief Executive Officer of Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation (OOF), Dr. Olalekan Makinde, said the Foundation has interest in Health of people particularly giving awareness to Non – communicable Disease (NCD).
“The focus this year is on women, because of the high level of morbidity and mortality that has been related to them. I want to enjoin Nigerians to join hands with the Foundation to further create a better life for all Nigerians and Africans,” Makinde said.
The about two kilometre walk which began at the Marque within the sprawling Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library(OOPL), Abeokuta, coursed through MKO Abiola Way and had 15 minutes stop – over at the premises Sunny Yinka Oil on same before turning to end it at the take off point.
The road walk was organized by the Southwest zone of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN) in collaboration with the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation (OOF) to mark the year edition of the World Diabetes Day(WDD).
In a lecture titled: “Women and Diabetic: Our Right to Healthy Living,” former chairman of DAN, Prof. Sunny Chieneye called for concerted efforts to check the menace of diabetes.