From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Monarch of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Adu Alagbado, a retired naval boss, has described the winner of The Sun 2018 Education Entrepreneur, Aare Afe Babalola, as a selfless giver and servant of humanity, saying that the Aare is very dear to himself and his subjects, the Ikere people.
In a brief interview at his palace in Ikere, Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Alagbado said he is very grateful to the management of The Sun for celebrating a man his people are very proud of.
How do you feel having one of your illustrious sons, Aare Afe Babalola who is today being celebrated as the The Sun Education Entrepreneur of the year 2018?
Let me seize this opportunity to express our appreciation to The Sun over recognising Aare Afe Babalola, a man we are very proud of, as a son of Ekiti. He is very dear to me and to Ikere. We hold him in very high esteem. He is a very good lawyer, and a highly experienced one at that. Among the frontline lawyers in Nigeria, he is one of the first 10. His achievements are numerous. There was a remarkable turnaround in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) when he served as Pro-chancellor there. He served in several capacities that have impacted positively on the socio-political and economic sectors of this country. I am particularly happy that he founded the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti which is just about five minutes drive to Ikere here.
It is not easy for an individual to establish a university. The news is everywhere that his university is the fastest growing in Africa.
When I had the opportunity to go to the institution, Baba Afe Babalola took me round its premises, especially his large farm there and I was really impressed, he was not only producing the raw materials but he is also processing them into some finished products for the market.
He also set up a University teaching hospital, a multi-purpose hospital of world standard. I was amazed because of the equipment and the quality of personnel there. It has been a huge sacrifice for him to have established such a prestigious hospital in Ekiti which is a very small place with very poor resources. I have traveled abroad to many places and I know that his hospital is of global standard because everything there is automated. With that hospital, no one in Nigeria needs to go abroad for treatment.
What kind of man will you say Babalola is?
Baba Afe Babalola is serving humanity. He has got a large heart and has got a university that is not only fastest growing but offers very quality and affordable education. His hospital with its world class medical equipment also offers affordable healthcare services. I pray he continues to live long and hand over those huge investments to a good man when the Lord calls him home.
I was with the Alaafin of Oyo, and we were talking about him, he and our own son in Ikere, Wole Olanipekun are very dear to the Alaafin. On behalf of the Ogoga-in-Council, the good people of Ikere, and all Ekiti people, we congratulate him. We are very proud to join other teeming admirers across the globe in celebrating Aare Afe Babalola, I wish him a very good health, long life and pray that God will give him the grace to do more for humanity and that his legacies will outlive him. I pray too that God will raise good people to manage the investment for him.