Aare Afe Babalola SAN

Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), has won yet another national acclaim as the University of the Year Award 2017. This time around, it is from Daily Asset Newspapers which gave the Award at its maiden Annual Awards and Lecture of Daily Assetwith the theme “Democratic Leadership: Imperative for Peace, Justice and Development in Nigeria” which took place at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

In a letter conveying the cheering news dated December 27, 2017, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the newspapers, said: “On behalf of the Board, Management and staff of the Asset Newspapers Limited (Publishers of Daily Asset Newspapers), we are pleased to inform you of the decision of the Editorial Board to nominate Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, for the Daily Asset University of the Year Award 2017. The nomination of your university for this award was without (any) influence whatsoever from any quarters as it was purely based on merit”.

Justifying the rationale for the award, Akwaya added: “According to the National Universities Commission (NUC), the country today has no fewer than 162 universities. Of this figure, 40 are federal universities, 46 are owned by states while private universities account for 74. Standing proudly tall among them is a private university, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, which is a non-for-profit private university founded by renowned Lawyer, Senior Advocate and philanthropist, Aare Afe Babalola, in 2009.

“The university offers academic programmes in six colleges: College of Sciences, College of Law, College of Engineering, College of Social & Management, College of Medicine & Health Sciences and College of Post-graduate Studies. It graduated its first set of students on October 21, 2013. Afe Babalola University holds the reputation for being one of the few Nigerian universities to have commenced academic works on its permanent site.

 “What is more, at a time most universities are finding it difficult to expand, ABUAD has built its own ultra-modern 400-bed Multi System Hospital, reputed to be one of the best of its kind in Nigeria. The university is reputed for its sterling academic programmes and discipline which has made it possible by the fact that all its students are resident on campus.

“Here is a university that does not have any history of cultism in any shape or form as a result of strict enforcement of discipline. The growing reputation and stature of the university is made possible by its Founder, Aare Afe Babalola. For being a world-class university operated on the principle of not-for profit and the continuous investment towards its expansion to enhance the country’s educational development. The Daily Asset Board of Editors has chosen Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti as the University of the Year 2017″.

The place of the Multi System Hospital has been corroborated by top-rate medical educators like Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, the Minister for Health, who said: “This hospital will offer us what we hitherto believe cannot happen in this country. It will also improve the poor health indicators in Nigeria. With what I have seen here today, this hospital matches the best in the world and it will certainly put an end to medical tourism outside Nigeria.”

Prof. Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said: “I have worked in many hospitals both here in Nigeria and in Europe. This hospital beats most hospitals where I have worked in Europe. This surely will be the answer to outward medical tourism. With what is here in this hospital, there is no reason why any of our doctors should want to go abroad for their Sabbatical. All they need is here.”

Presenting the Award to the Provost, College of Sciences, Prof. Abiodun Ojo, who represented Babalola at the event, the Bauchi State Governor Mohammed A. Abubakar, implored other wealthy Nigerians to borrow a leaf from Aare Afe Babalola, who has ploughed his all into establishing one of the best universities in Nigeria in his self-impose assignment of entrenching quality and functional education in Nigeria.

Former Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, who chaired the occasion, caused a mild stir at the ceremony, when he requested Babalola, who was represented by Prof. Ojo to present the Governor of the Year 2017 Award to Governor Abubakar of Bauchi State. Babangida Aliyu, a true friend of ABUAD was operating on the premise that he was not “qualified” to present such a high-pitch Award to Abubakar when Babalola was present, albeit in a representative capacity.

 An obviously elated Babalola thanked the management of Daily Asset Newspapers for the honour done to his nine-year old university which has been carting home numerous awards from all fronts, adding that the Award was a call to duty or a call to more duty, a catalyst that will propel, ginger, inspire and encourage the university to want to do more now and in future. He expressed his happiness that people and organisations around the world are noticing and appreciating what his university has been doing since it commenced academic works on January 4, 2010.

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