Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Former presidents Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and General Yakubu Gowon have described the Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) as a citadel of learning that has brought respect to the academic reputation of the country on the global stage.
The former presidents said that with the establishment of ABUAD by its founder, Chief Afe Babalola, eight years ago the country was gradually regaining its pride of place internationally in terms of improved scholarship.
Speaking after commissioning some projects at the university Monday, the elder statesmen added that ABUAD would be one of the 100 best universities on the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities in less than 10 years.
Obasanjo and Gowon commissioned a newly built 18-metres Dome Planetarium for Exploratory Trip for Space, Tele-medicine equipment at the Teaching Hospital that would facilitate free interaction of Aster doctors in Dubai with their patients here in Ado Ekiti, a multibillion naira Postgraduate Hall, and the State of the Earth Social and Management Science building.
Obasanjo said that, with the 400-bed Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, every Nigerian, including the rich, have no reason to travel abroad for medical treatment.
“ABUAD is gradually transforming Nigeria. When I reappointed Chief Afe Babalola the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, he was determined to turn things around but that environment did not permit him.
“I want to thank God today that he had started translating those dreams to reality. So, with the aesthetic structures I am seeing , I can say that ABUAD has become a huge blessing to Nigeria”, he said.
Gowon described ABUAD as really a 21st century university with the culture of learning and morality, saying the university has become not only a cynosure of all eyes but investment that was fast radicalizing the country’s education system.
The Ex-Head of State said with the spate ABUAD was going that the country has a lot to benefit from the university.
“This university is becoming a trail blazer in all aspects. The development is attracting global body to invest and the product was what you are seeing in the memoranda it was signing with big educational and health institutions across the globe.
“ABUAD is doing well in academics, morality and in agriculture. Look at the farm set up by the founder, Chief Babalola. It has offered employment and increased food production in Nigeria,” Obasanjo noted.
“The benefit of this institution will be exceptionally tremendous. The founder has done well for himself in life by setting up an institution that has widened Nigeria’s recognition and contributions to scholarship across the globe.”
Babalola said that, with the establishment of Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, there would be of no need for Nigerians to travel abroad for medical treatment, saying the university was set up to correct imbalances in the education sector.
“This university was set up to be a real example of 21st century university. A modern university that can compete with any university in advanced nations,” he said.
“This university was established eight years ago and it was ranked to be between one and four in Nigeria. By the time we will be ten, it will be number one in Nigeria and this will make it a formidable force in the global scene,” he said.