Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, has blamed the growing insecurity and socio-politico-economic problems in Nigeria on lack of functional and quality education at the different levels in the country.
Babalola, who said that “without quality education, a country is doomed,” called on parents and well-to-do Nigerians to invest in quality education in the country, adding, “I realize better than most that education is power. I also know that education can change individuals, societies, nations and indeed the whole world.”
ABUAD Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Tunde Olofintila, in a statement titled ‘Afe Babalola wins 2020 African Lifetime Achievers Award’ made available in Ado Ekiti on Sunday stated that the elder statesman spoke in reaction to the award for deserving Africans who had made significant contributions to community development, leadership, entrepreneurship, agriculture and education.
Olofintila stated that the Chairperson of the African Achievers Awards and Former Civil Mayor of the London Borough of Hackney, United Kingdom, Susan Fajana-Thomas, said the award, slated for December 5, was in view of Babalola’s “contributions to the African educational and agricultural sectors.”
The ABUAD founder thanked the organizers of the African Achievers Awards for the beautiful things said about him, which he acknowledged as “a call to more duty, a catalyst that will propel, inspire and encourage him to want to do more for the African continent.”
Babalola said, “If the country (Nigeria) has a quality education and functional education, it will not be going through the various crises of insecurity, spiral unemployment, kidnapping, robbery, gross underdevelopment, and unpaid salaries and other emoluments it is currently experiencing”.
The ABUAD founder lauded the “selfless and committed teachers” who imparted quality and functional education in him in Emmanuel Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, the only formal/classroom education the legal icon ever had, saying it was the quality education he had in the beginning that shaped his life to become what he had become in life.
He said that it was the quality education that assisted him during his seven-year stint as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Lagos to turn the university around and as well led him “to establish a not-for-profit private university which has now turned to a shining example of how a university should be run.”
Babalola said, “ABUAD has within the first decade of its existence overshot its expectations and navigated its way to the comity of top-rated universities in the country today, thereby winning innumerable national and international awards, accolades and acknowledgments.”
Earlier recipients of the award included Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Former President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete; Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Taylor; Former President of Ghana, the late Prof. Attah Mills; and the Founder of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh.