A legal icon and founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola, has been named winner of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Awards 2018.
His emergence as the latest winner of the prestigious award, as announced by the former Secretary-General, Commonwealth of Nations and chairman of the Selection Committee of the award, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Tuesday, in Lagos, at the unveiling of the new look of Nigerian Tribune titles and symposium, came four years after Mr Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Wole Soyinka, won the award in 2014 and 2012, respectively.
Anyaoku said there was no individual in African among nominees worthy to be honoured with the award in the last four years because none met the criteria spelt out to justify their candidacy for the honour.
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He listed Chief Ayo Banjo and the chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Ambassador (Dr) Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, among others, as members of the Award Selection Committee.
Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Award, according to Anyaoku, is for individuals who have demonstrated the attributes of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The attributes, he said, are in terms of political strategy, education, integrity, caring for welfare of the masses, consistency of policies, courage, among others.
Though, it is always difficult to find an individual who perfectly match the attributes of the sage, Anyaoku said the selection committee had to make do with those substantially near the set criteria.
He said it was only Chief Afe Babalola who was found worthy as an individual among the current nominees to receive the award.
Afe Babalola, he noted, had distinguished himself in the provision of quality education just like the sage, advocacy for masses through legal intervention and other means and, therefore, deserves the award.