Gula: The story of an imprisoned missionary’s son premieres
All roads led to Terra Kulture, Lagos on October 1st when ‘Gula,’ a stage play on the book ‘The Story of Baba Ali’ written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has premiered. ‘Gula’ is the captivating life account of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s encounter with Gula aka Baba Ali - one Northern Nigeria’s most dreaded criminals - during his incarceration in Yola. The story is a narrative of how peer pressure influenced Gula, a missionary’s son, into becoming out of control and eventually leader of a criminal gang.
The Executive Producer of Gula, Mr. Tunde Oduwole said the story is one of courage, hope, taking responsibility and of second chances.
“While in incarceration, Obasanjo’s life was hanging in the balance but rather than allow fear, depression, self-pity, or loneliness engulf him, Obasanjo in a display of rare human strength, took responsibility to understand why the prison was full of young people.”
While in prison Obasanjo told Baba Ali that God could forgive him despite his past. Through persuasion, prayers and fasting, Baba Ali repented. After serving his prison terms, he sought and found Obasanjo, now the President of Nigeria- who sent him to a Baptist seminary. Baba Ali is now an ordained Baptist Church minister and has been in charge of a Baptist Church in Kaduna for the past nine years.
Obasanjo who spoke about the play said, it does not matter how bad a man may be, you can change or improve him. “There are so many lessons to draw from Gula. For me, what lessons can we learn individually, collectively and as a country? There is an opportunity of a second chance,” he added.
Gula’s theme is channelled towards encouraging parents, families and governments on the need for conscientious upbringing of children and correction of juvenile delinquency.
The stage play will show continues today and tomorrow at the same venue.
Gula, a production on former president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s prison experience