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Babalola’s exploits in university transformation

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Babalola’s exploits in university transformation

 

The ultimate measure of a man is best expressed if it can be donated in the advancement of worthy causes and especially for the good of humanity. The founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) continues to dazzle people of all colours and creed on account of his daring service to humanity. He is given to serving mankind with all his endowments.

 

Only a couple of days back, he was at Oxford University to deliver a profound lecture on the state of education in Africa and within days of his arrival, he was chief host to a crop of editors of leading news media from across the country to unveil his latest couple of facilities within ABUAD. As he stood serially to answer questions after an extempore presentation, it was evident that here stood a man completely sold out to the vision of impacting humanity in a most profound manner.

 

The facilities which include amongst several others still evolving are, the university’s 18M fix Dome Planetarium, the only one in Africa with Astronomical Observatory and one of the largest fixed planetarium in the world, the Telemedicine Equipment which was donated by ABUAD’s partner, Aster DM Healthcare of Dubai to his recently commissioned 400-bed Multi-System Hospital and which is the First in Africa. The Tele-medicine equipment will assist in the area of ‘Tele-Consulting’, ‘Tele-diagnosis’ and ‘Tele-management’. This facility will enable the foreign partners to join in performing medical service by proxy and assist in attending to patients who will readily embark on medical tourism.

 

Other facilities unveiled are the ultra-modern postgraduate building, Hall of Residence and the Social and Management Science Building both estimated at close to N4 billion. No wonder, the school, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, is deservedly adjudged “Africa’s Fastest Growing University” all within less than a decade of its existence. All of these achievements are not by happenstance or by waving a magic wand. The secret behind all of these titanic achievements are traceable to the indomitable will power, vision and hard work of Aare Afe Babalola.

 

I watched as the media executives grilled him and his candidness. It was evident that he is a man of boundless passion for education. Though a self-confessed ‘accidental proprietor’, he stated that the dream of establishing a world class university was traceable to the fact that former President Olusegun Obasanjo saddled him with the task of revamping University of Lagos at a particular point in time when the school was at its lowest ebb. The story of how he turned around UNILAG with distinction and his record breaking achievements are already in the public sphere and needs no regurgitation here but suffice it to say, he “sold some of his properties and emptied his bank accounts” and ABUAD sprang up.

 

The more questions, the more answers and before long, it became quite established that Aare, a man of tremendous charm, wit and brutally frank in equal measures is a delight to keep company with. A master story teller; a man of keen intelligence, self-assuredness and sincerely reliable, he saw a need for provision for excellent education and readily provided one. Quite solemn and contemplative, expressing his mission in life with precision and roaring successes, he is stoic, graceful and impactful. With all of these, his life has entered the realm of continuum. His life is in perpetuity. As long as this earth endures, Aare endures. In my mind’s eye, I see a man dedicated to the preposition that anything worth pursuing is attainable. His existence has defined the real and true meaning of life. His life is a threshold of greatness and service to humanity.

 

His boundless energy shows no sign of waning, he works like a man just dreaming of floating an enterprise, he remains engrossing with his passion to build enduring legacies worth emulating, ever illuminating, his life is an amplification of grace spiced with clear objective ever unfolding, compelling, vivid, instructive because in his life time, he has created the Afe Babalola phenomenon. An undeniable epitome of industry, he has shown what qualitative reasoning can achieve. His life is an eye opener even at such an advanced age, he certainly needs no new adventure but dare not take a bet on Aare not to come up with something new per time. Like a scientist in a laboratory, his mind is ever baking ideas – ideas that would make humanity a better place.

 

A philosopher, thinker, humanitarian, builder of men, legal juggernaut and profound contributor to the much anticipated renaissance of a great Nigeria with hope and spanning equal opportunities for all. For want to a proper word, I would say without equivocation that Aare is pure gold. He is as straight as a pin. Constant on ethical conduct, unyielding on truth but quite mobile in achievements, he is an A rated personality, standing as a living oracle, some say, a living monument of greatness. He is wholesome. Once in a generation a superb being walks the earth, confirming the possibility of greatness, especially to those whose advent is base-all man is created equal by God for any and everything spectacular. Aare’s life affirms it. Such is his life. He is endlessly praised because he is a wonder. We can only continue to pray for him to remain in soundness of body, soul and spirit: long may he rein.

 

His strength of character, depth of convictions, obstinacy in pursuit of worthy causes makes him a tornado personality. He possesses the gift of sincerity and simplicity, hence his persuasive acumen. A boundlessly generous man, his large heartedness is legendary. He is an open book with an open mind. In my opinion, he is a good man. Look around him, you will see people he has raised to great heights in life, inspiring, leading and directing them to multiple victories. He maintains a paternal relationship with staff and students – for whom he remains devoted. A believer in the power of ideas and ideals, a restless believer in mankind’s ability to create “new frontiers” suffices the notion that all things good can be attained. It is said that see Paris and die, I dare say see ABUAD and believe!

 

•Opeyeoluwa teaches in the Department of International Relations & Diplomacy of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

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