former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday led a crowd of people for a road walk for diabetes awareness in Abeokuta, Ogun, declaring that he walks 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.
Obasanjo who was joined in the road walk by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbifrom Osun, 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.
“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.
The road walk was organised 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).