Help! Something is wrong with Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, OFR, CON
By Wale Ojo-Lanre
Honestly, it is only a few people who can stretch their necks and point out the mistakes or false moves of a highly respected and globally adored personality like Chief Afe Babalola. Two reasons can be adduced for this, one, truth is bitter. Most of us are allergic to the truth. It hurts to the marrow, so people are always careful and scared of telling the truth, especially to someone who is a special being.
Secondly, eminent personality in high places or accomplished icons of solid gold, fame, influence and wealth do not normally consider people of lesser personality as men of ideas whose advice is good for them. For, they normally consider them as persona non grata correcting them is like “can a poor person get fecund ideas”? That kind of a feeling. Thus, these and other reasons are why people may be scared stiff at pointing out the foibles, wobbling and fumbling of an eminent personality like Chief Afe Babalola.
Honestly, I hold Aare Afe Babalola in high esteem. For, he is an Iroko Tree who wants other Iroko trees to sprout and blossom. And not an Igi Nla which loves to be the only tree in the forest. I so much love Baba Afe but that is not my story here today. The story of my love for Aare will be for another day. That I love Are Afe Babalola should not preclude me from pointing out whatever I perceived to be his undoing, that is, what is wrong with him as a father, mentor and a thoroughbred humanist I cannot keep my mouth shut and close my eyes after noticing some strange behavioral patterns in Aare Bamofin of Oyo and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado – Ekiti, one of the best privately owned and run universities in the world.
I should be able to point out what I think is very and totally wrong with Baba Afe Babalola‘s ways of life and posture to humanity. Walai ta lahi, something is definitely wrong with Baba and you people are not talking. I mean Baba Afe is getting something wrong. The man who rose from famished grass unto aristocratic platform and who used his personal money in planting some of the very first set of buildings at the site of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti during its early days of formation is making a big mistake.
The father of Bolanle Austen-Peters, has been missing it ab initio and he may missed it for the rest of his life Baba Afe Babalola, who is not in the genre of money – miss – road or men from the stable of nou vea rich parentage has been exhibiting and setting a dangerous precedent in manorial behavioral pattern. And some of you notice, know about, aware of and you refuse to alert the great icon of the law and this non – roof philanthropist just because you don’t want to offend him.
Huh! It is taken, that the man dies in that person who has the singular opportunity of saying the truth but because of mundane issues or pecuniary consideration embraces passivity and closes his mouth with Agadagodo. For me, I will refuse to be gagged. And ready to bear it all, no holds barred! Now here we go.
My brother, is Baba Afe not making a mistake after he suffered hard, labored hard and experienced agrarian hunger and poverty to make money and now using part of the money he made through hard work to raise people from poverty and wretchedness, people who were not witnesses of his hard time, men and fellows who were not there to empathize with him?
Don’t you think something is wrong with Baba Afe Babalola who decided to locate one of the best Universities in the world in his town, Ado-Ekiti, when he was offered a large expanse of land pro bono and other sumptuous incentives by the then government of Oyo State just because of his agrarian vision and believe in driving employment opportunities in his dearest state – Ekiti ?
Is it not a mistake or wrong doing for Chief Afe Babalola to also apart from the University, cite a Multiplex Hospital, the first of its kind in Nigeria which is in the mould of John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, US, offering cheap and affordable services? Is there nothing wrong with Baba Afe who always ensures that whatever he is planting, whether educational project, health facility, agricultural plantation, industrial park and even conservation must be the best, the best of the best and the excellent?
Can’t Baba Afe behave and cut corners in his endeavors for him to achieve fleeting glory and pyrrhic success which are not sustainable like those people you know? Don’t you think it is very wrong for the legal icon to use his chamber- Afe Babalola Chamber, Ibadan as training coven to nurture , groom and produce classical and finest legal luminaries who are not only dominating the legal hemisphere but who are profoundly distinguishing themselves as first class professionals in the corridor, inner , outer chamber of temple of justice both in Nigeria and at global platforms ?
If something is not wrong with Baba Afe, he should behave like the Lord of Manor or like the big Cork which would not want the younger ones to grow. Nay, Baba Afe would instead use his hard-earned money, influence, network and connection to ensure the success and accomplishments of those who he trained, those who he did not trained, those who he knows, those who he never knew but just fortunate to be in need and just walk up to him for help?
Is it not wrong for Baba Afe who is expected to go on the roof-top or on the tallest minaret to announce the avalanche of his philanthropic gestures but always keep it off the public, in hush tones restricted within the confines of his office? Is it not wrong a habit for a man like Baba Afe to stick to eating organic foods , like elegede , sese , ogede dudu , otili , and traditional stews like, obe ede , obe ura , obe igba , obe igbagba , obe odu , obe worowo, all garnished with traditional seasoning like iru, epo eku and others while making a taboo of the fabricated seasonings ?
Is it a good thing for Baba Afe not to know how to turn people down whenever they go to him for help which is within his capacity to render? Or must he even help at all? Or how much of such help was he able to garner when he was struggling to make it in life? Do you think anything is wrong with Aare Afe Babalola for exhibiting these rare virtues totally unexpected of a homosapien? My brother, nothing is wrong with Baba Afe Babalola, it is you that something is wrong with Think! Good day.