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Afe Babalola donates N50m to fund emergency national conference

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Decay in education, source of Nigeria's crises — Babalola
Chief Afe Babalola SAN

By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ado-Ekiti

Aare Afe Babalola, legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, (ABUAD), on Tuesday, announced a donation of N50m to a self-sponsored National Conference, christened “Summit of Hope”

According to him, this becomes necessary “in order to find urgent ways out of the current crisis facing the country”.

The proposed conference which is scheduled to hold at his University in Ado Ekiti, anytime soon, was an initiative aimed at halting the country’s drift into imminent anarchy or resorting into another civil war.

He also donated the 700-Seater ABUAD Hall, for use of the summit christened ” Summit of Hope” as well as the Five-Star ABUAD Inn, for use of the summit.

This is just as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, commended the decision of Babalola, describing the step as patriotic, and that he would, in his capacity as Co-Chairman of National Traditional Council of Nigeria, report the development to fellow rulers to seek support since the conference was aimed at restoring normally to the polity.

Babalola made the statement at ABUAD campus, in Ado Ekiti, at the 10th Aare Afe Babalola Annual Public Lecture, organized by the Ado Ekiti branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA).

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He noted that restructuring and a new Constitution are very essential to the new Nigeria envisaged by all, adding that these can be achieved within just a year, if Nigerians so desired.

He listed a number of eminent Nigerians to be invited to the conference and urged the Ooni to join him in reaching out to them.

They are; all former Presidents, all leading traditional rulers including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alaafin of Oyo, Ewi of Ado Ekiti, and Obi Of Onitsha.

They also include leading religious leaders and leaders of thoughts among them; Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukka, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Prof Wole Soyinka, Chief Ayo Adebanjo among others in that category.

The rest are Senate President and his deputy, Speaker of House of Rep and his deputy, Chairman of NGF, Speakers, and deputies of State Houses of Assembly, Vice-Chancellors of public and private Univer duties, ASUU, NLC, I AN, NSE, NUJ, NANS, CAN AND NSCIA and other bodies, leaders of Boko Haram, Miyetiallah, IPOB, Chief Gani Adams Arewa Consultative Forum, and Chief Sunday Ighoho among other sectional leaders

” The situation in Nigeria today is gruesome and all hands must be on the deck to save from total collapse.

” I am proposing ABUAD as the venue of the summit because it is safe, has a Federal Ministry of Aviation -Certified Helipad, almost well equipped 400-Bed Multi-System Hospital, modern sporting facilities, Olympic size swimming pool, and Gym among others”, he said.

The Ooni, in his reaction, described Aare Afe Babalola as one single Nigerian selflessly doing what many privileged Nigerians should be doing to uplift the nation.

The Ooni, who was Chairman of the lecture, said it baffled him to discover a wide range of world-class structures and facilities, put in place at his university, in addition to the growing number of lawyers and non-lawyers he had made to fulfill destiny, in his almost 60 years of law practice and 91 years of existence.

Oba Adeyeye who shared the story of what a Jigawa state born friend of his said when his child, who was earlier billed to travel abroad to study said when the child got admitted to study Medicine at ABUAD, was of the view that Nigeria would have been better off than what it is currently if other privileged persons in his class had been equally selfless.

” I am astounded to see what a single man, I mean just one man has been able to put in place here for the benefits of humanity.

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” Aare Afe Babalola could perfectly be referred to as one man of limitless determination, the best Nigerian father worldwide, and a man to be so proud of.

” In my estimation, ABUAD, which he founded, is the best private university in Nigeria today, and I have my facts

” You hardly can find any university whose founder is as dedicated and as committed as we have come to find in Baba Afe Babalola. He has made the institution become a mirror for others to see, and a pacesetter to emulate”, he said.

Earlier in his lecture titled; ” A Lawyer’s Conflict of Loyalties”, the guest lecturer, Prof. Tayo Oke counseled lawyers against being dishonest to the court and their clients while handling cases.

According to him, lawyers, as officers of the court, should be absolutely ethical in their duty to tell the court the unvarnished truth in all cases, including avoiding dishonesty and evasion.

” Being ambiguous and evasive is an art for a lot of successful practitioners. What about revealing to the judge, the real reason for a client’s non -appearance in court b or for a missing document?

” What if a client’s non-appearance is tactical, especially in divorce cases? What if the missing document is not, in fact missing? he said.

He also advised lawyers against laying too much emphasis on the issue of money when advocating in a case.

” The word “Noble” as being used to qualify lawyers is a tendentious, nebulous concept. It is also used in reference to Doctors, Nurses Police, Teachers, etc. Honesty, courage’s d selflessness are part of the major attributes of being in a noble profession.

” If lawyers purpose, as it was in the beginning was to preserve the moral peace, being in the forefront of putting their skills for the benefit of society rather than as means of livelihood, and of not benefitting from someone’s else’s dilemma, then, the idea of nobility should come to play”, he said.

Scores of Yoruba traditional rulers were in attendance to welcome the Ooni to the event.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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