Michael Adesanya /Abeokuta
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday charged parents and community leaders to revive the culture of story telling among children to enable them imbibe good morals.
Obasanjo gave the charge at a programme tagged “Story Time With Baba”, held at his ancestral home at Ibogun in Ifo council area of Ogun.
The programme was organised by the Centre For Human Security, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), as part of activities marking his 80th birthday which comes up on Sunday, March 5.
Obasanjo who sat among the pupils of Baptist Day School, Ibogun where he had his primary school education, told them folk stories.
He also recalled that while growing up in the community, his parents and other community leaders usually gathered young children, including himself, under the moonlight to give them riddles and tell them fables.
“They normally require us to solve the riddles so as to make us think deeply and sharpen our wits while they told us stories to inculcate moral values into us. Most of the stories revolved round animals, particularly, tortoise, and will normally end with lessons to build character by pointing us to what to do and what not to do.
“We have grown up with those moral values and they served as foundations upon which we built our lives and conducted ourselves wherever we went,” he said.
The former President however, expressed concern that the practice had been jettisoned by parents and thereby denied the children a good platform to build character.
He said that he had written 12 books containing several of such stories as part of efforts to sustain the culture and prepare the children for the fututure.
The former president distributed copies of the books to pupils of the school and other schools in the state.