Afe Babalola, ABUA founder, wins GUNI-Africa award


The torrential rain of Awards, Recognitions and Encomiums that have been coming the way of the frontline legal colossus and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, recently got a boost when he received the Global University Network for Innovation Africa, GUNI-Africa Award for 2017 for his “Exemplary Leadership in Higher Education in Africa”.

The cheering news was broken during the ABUAD’s 5th Convocation Lecture recently which was delivered by Prof. Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and currently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State.

At the end of his thoroughly illuminating Lecture titled “The Place and Continued Relevance of Private Universities”, Okebukola said that there was something very important to do to celebrate Babalola for “his uncommon commitment to building a university, ABUAD, that is emerging Africa’s Regional exemplar of optimal resourcing of a university to deliver quality university education”.

The Award which was signed by Okebukola in his capacity as the President of GUNI-Africa and GUNI-Africa’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Juma Shabani, added: “In less than 10 years since its establishment, ABUAD has witnessed such tremendous growth in infrastructural development, international partnership and attraction of the best scholars that can hardly be matched a university thrice its age in Africa.

The Award has thus become yet another colourful feather to the already well adorned cap of Awards and Honours of the frontline farmer and educationist who has won Honourary Doctorate Degrees from six universities,

including the famous University of London which honoured him with its LL. D on March 25, 2015, thus making him the third African to be so honoured after the former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The GUNI-Africa Award ceremony which took place at the ABUAD’s 7,000-seater Alfa Belgore Multi-Purpose Hall was witnessed by the crème-de-la-crème of the society made up of members of the Bar and the Bench, Legal Academics, the Royalty, the Clergy and Captains of Industries as well as the ever-cheering students of the university.

Presenting the Award together with former Secretary to the Federal Government, Ambassador Yayale Ahmed, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar A. Rasheed, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, Okebukola commended Babalola for what he has been doing for education ever before he established his own university, ABUAD, which commenced uninterrupted academic calendar on January 4, 2010.

Okebukola therefore called on well-meaning Nigerians to borrow a leaf from the renowned legal luminary who has been doing so much to bring succour to the needy and deserving members of the society by frontally addressing the grinding and debasing poverty currently ravaging the society today and giving back to the society with the overall aim of leaving it better than he had met it.

Responding, an appreciative Babalola who thanked GUNI-Africa for the Award and recognition said he was of the firm view that this Award is in large measure due to the unprecedented and monumental educational landmarks achieved by his seven-year old university,

Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), a pace setter in qualitative and functional education which many national and international stakeholders have publicly acknowledged as a clear leader.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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