Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised Nigerians to stop deifying diabetes, saying it is not a killer disease.
He spoke Friday morning when he led hundreds of people on road walk for diabetes awareness in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
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 of 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 OOPL to mark the 2017 edition of World Diabetes Day.
Obasanjo who spoke during the walk said that just like any other diseases, diabetes could kill but that “diabetes kills only careless people.”
Obasanjo who was joined in the road walk by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Osun State) and Commissioner of Health in Ogun State, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, added if one took care of oneself, one would discover that “diabetes is not a killer disease.”
The Ebora Owu who noted he is now well above 80 and could walk with agility despite being diabetic(covering a distance of 1km uphill of the distance on foot during the walk), lamented that many of the nation’s youth rarely exercise.
“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 me that 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 live 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 after me.
” This is my message. Whether you’re diabetic or you have a family or friend with diabetes, diabetes is not a killer disease or it should not be a killer disease unless you are careless,” Obasanjo said.