When former President Olusegun Obasanjo speaks most times, people listen.

He has over the years remained a journalist's delight.

The former president on Sunday declared that he did three things while he was in Yola and Kirikiri prisons serving a jail term for phantom coups by the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.

Obasanjo said he met a notorious armed robber and serial murderer, Baba Ali, who he preached to and later sent to bible school.

Ali has become a pastor over a Baptist Church.

The ex-President spoke at Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos, where the Lagos State Baptist Conference held a thanksgiving service to mark his 80th birthday.

Recalling his time as an inmate, Obasanjo said he did three remarkable things:

- he built a church

- started a farm

- and served as prison pastor.

“I will mention three things that God made me to do when I was in Yola Prison. One, God made me to build a church. It’s very unusual, I asked the authorities for  land, they were reluctant, but eventually they gave me land and immediately, we started getting donations. It was started before I left Yola. Wherever you are, you can still be useful to the work of God.

“Secondly, there was a parcel of land, which was not being used for anything, so, I told the prison authorities that I wanted to farm. They were reluctant but eventually they granted me the permission to farm and I grew enough beans to feed all the inmates and the warders. Don’t remain idle, get something doing.”

The third thing he did, Obasanjo said, was at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos where he took over as the prison pastor.

He said he took over as prison pastor because the prison authorities banned preachers from coming in after some white garments preachers who came to preach had helped some inmates to escape by dressing them in white garments.

The church presented Obasanjo with a bible, a bell and a bottle of olive oil.

He was accompanied by his wife Bola and Senator Olorunnibe Mamora.