Olusegun Obasanjo has spoken on his experience in Yola and Kirikiri prisons.

Punch reports that the former president said he was a pastor and that he was able to convert a ‘serial murderer’ named Baba Ali.

Speaking at a service at the Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos, Obasanjo said he had to become a pastor because they had none.

He said, "They made sure we did not receive anybody from outside to come and preach to us or fellowship with us. So, I took over as the prison pastor.”

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On converting Ali, he said: “They made sure we did not receive anybody from outside to come and preach to us or fellowship with us. So, I took over as the prison pastor.”

“And there was a boy whom they had introduced to me, his nickname was Baba Ali. Baba Ali was the head of the armed robbers in the north.

“And if you were an armed robber and you came to the prison, you must first of all go and pay homage to Baba Ali. If you were going out, you must go to Baba Ali and ask him for instruction on what you had to do next.

“So, I called Baba Ali one day and said, ‘You are not coming to fellowship; I want you to be coming to the fellowship.’

“He said, ‘Baba, don’t worry me, don’t worry me at all because God can never forgive me. I have killed so many people in my life, I have drunk the blood of so many people, I have eaten the flesh of so many people and God will never forgive me, so, don’t waste your time about me.’

“I left Baba Ali on that occasion, and I waited for some time before I went back and said, ‘Baba Ali, you know all you said that you are a murderer, whether you killed only one person or a thousand people, you are a murderer, but have you forgotten that Moses was a murderer but God used him to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?’ David was a murderer but God called him a man after my heart.

“By the time I was leaving the prison, I told Baba Ali that if he was able to make it and he would like to go to bible school, I would send him to bible school.

“Baba Ali came out of prison two years after me. By the time he came out, I had become the president of Nigeria. It took him two years to get through to me.

“When he got to me, I reminded him of our agreement and he said he was ready to go to the bible school. So, I sent him to the seminary. Baba Ali spent two years in the seminary.

“Today, Baba Ali is the pastor of a Baptist Church. What is more? Baba Ali’s junior brother took after him and has also become a pastor.”

He also thanked God for his prison experience.