By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti- Former Nigeria’s Presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen.Yakubu Gowon, have described the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD) as a citadel of learning that has brought respect to the academic image of the country at the global scene.
They said with the establishment of ABUAD by its founder, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN) eight years ago, that the country was gradually regaining its pride of place at the international level in the area of improved scholarship.
Speaking after commissioning some projects in the university on Monday, the elderstatesmen added that ABUAD would be one of the 100 best universities on webometric ranking before it clocks 10 years of operation.
The projects commissioned were: The 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, the multi-billion naira Postgraduate Hall and the State of the Earth Social and Management Science building.
Obasanjo noted with the existence of the 400-bed Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital , that every Nigerian, including the rich class has no reason traveling abroad for medical treatments.
He said, “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 employments and increasing food production in Nigeria.
“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 widening Nigeria’s recognition and contributions to scholarship across the globe.”
Babalola said with the establishment of Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, it would be of no need for Nigerians to travel abroad for medical treatments, saying the university was set up to correct perceived imbalances in the education sector.
His words, “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.
“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, “
On the new university teaching hospital, Babalola said the expatriates brought in from Aster Hospital in Dubai have been exposing experts in the university to various fields that can make treatment of any ailment easy in the university.