By Gbenga Ariyibi, Ado Ekiti
The family of the late Chief Elijah Babalola,the first university graduate in Ekiti State and Minister of Public Works during the time of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Premier of the defunct Western Region, have expressed displeasure over alleged abandonment of the family by the state and federal governments.The family are equally shocked that 28 years after the demise of the first African Principal of the famous Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti, government has not deemed it fit to honour the late politician.
Speaking at Saint Micheal Anglican Church,Oye Ekiti during the launching of a magazine in honour of the late politician, one of his sons, Mr Akin Babalola, expressed the displeasure of the family to government which, according to him, has abandoned the family.
The son, who recounted the contributions of his late father to the development of his immediate community,Oye Ekiti and the country as a whole, noted that some of the roads and public utilities put in place during the regime of Awolowo were the brainchild of his late father.
”Aside this, my late father taught in many places like Ijebu,Sagamu ,Oyo,Abeokuta ,Ibadan before he became the first African Principal of Christ’s School Ado Ekiti. ”He was equally instrumental to the coming together and urbanisation of many communities both in the state and outside Ekiti today, especially Iyin,Oye, Ikole, Ikare-Akoko. ”The late chief and Papa Adekunle Ajasin were commissioned to prepare a policy paper on free education at Olowo’s palace at Owo.
”I have personally written to the president,Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and Ekiti State governor,Dr Kayode Fayemi, on the need to remember and honour this great Nigerian, even posthumously. But, up till now, there has been no response.” Speaking also at the occasion, one-time minister,Chief Ayo Ogunlade, commended the late politician for his contributions, especially for championing the movement of Oye town from the old site to the present sit.