A civil societies group, the Coalition of Concerned Civil Societies (CCCS), has nominated the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, for the Distinguished African Leadership Award as a mark of appreciation for his outstanding contributions to development of humanity.
CCCS Convener, Comrade Declan Ihekiare, said the award was in view of Afe Babalola’s contributions “to mentoring younger generations of Nigerians and nation building as well as on the site visitation to ABUAD.
Ihekiare said in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday that the Coalition resolved at its general meeting recently in Lagos “to recognise and celebrate the contributions of Aare Afe Babalola as a person that has displayed exemplary leadership by example among other qualities”.
CCCS, a group of young professionals and civil rights crusaders with focus on nation building and sustainable development, said the honour was to recognise the legal luminary’s contribution in many aspects of the country’s national lives.
This, according to them include Afe Babalola being “a mentor to many youths and Nigerians from diverse walk of lives; an educator who taught many people to fish instead of just giving them fish; a successful legal practitioner whose practice has contributed immensely to the legal professions; a philanthropist whose generosity has positively impacted on many people; and a social, community and political leader whose silent contributions has shaped the lives of many Nigerians”.
Ihekiare described Babalola as “an epitome of excellence, an exceptional thinker and master planner, who though from a very humble background succeeded in reaching the pinnacle of his career. He has been in legal practice for 47 years and an active member of International Bar Association”.
According to him, when Babalola was the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos between 2011 and 2008, he established transparency, integrity and discipline as well as academic excellence.
He said: “In the White Paper issued on the report of visitation panel to the institution,the Federal Government stated that “the leadership style of Chief Afe Babalola was exemplary.
He acted commendably by paying his bills anytime he chose to stay in a hotel by donating his sitting allowance to the University Endowment Funds. “Babalola, as an educationist established ABUAD where he still lectures despite his tight schedule and old age with a number of legal publications to his name.
He also established the Afe Babalola International Study Centre (ABISC) where leadership materials can be groomed in an ultra-modern atmosphere for the continent and entire human race,” Ihekiare stated.
-Emmanuel Ani, Ado. Ekiti