Friday, October 30, 2020 5:21 pm
• With Eulogies by President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senator Babafemi Ojudu
Aare Afe Babalola is 91 years old today. He was born in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, on 30 October 1929. After his elementary education at Emmanuel Primary School in the same town, he later enrolled for the Senior Cambridge School Certificate examination by private study from Wolsey Hall, Oxford. After that, he obtained the A’Level certificate of London University before he proceeded to London School of Economics where he received a bachelor’s degree in Economics. In 1963, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of London and was called to the England bar.
He began his law career at Olu Ayoola and Co (a law firm), Ibadan and in 1965, he set up his own Afe Babalola and Co. (Emmanuel Chambers). He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1987.
After his elementary education at Emmanuel Primary School in the same town, he later enrolled for the Senior Cambridge School Certificate examination by private study from Wolsey Hall, Oxford. After that, he received the A’Level certificate of London University before he proceeded to London School of Economics where he bagged a bachelor’s degree in Economics. In 1963, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of London and was called to the England bar.
He began his law career at Olu Ayoola and Co, law firm and in 1965, he set up his own Afe Babalola and Co. (Emmanuel Chambers). He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in in 1987.
He is the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
Babalola narrated his grass to grace story, when, in May 2020, Ooni of Ife’s Research Team were in his university on what Vanguard reported as “a partnership on clinical research aimed at developing drugs and vaccines for viral infections with special focus on coronavirus pandemic.” That day, Babalola said: “I have already dedicated my life to humanity. What else am I looking for in this world? God has been so kind to me, that is why I must be so kind to humanity too.
“Even if I have to increase the laboratory from Level 4, I will do so without any hesitation, so that this partnership can be a huge success. All my life has been challenging; I never saw the four walls of the university, but I have several university degrees. It is my happiness that Arole Oodua Ooni of Ife has visited us to see what we have here at Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti and he (Ooni) is impressed. “He is a great African king with visionary and pragmatic leadership.”
Eulogies by President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senator Babafemi Ojudu:
President Muhammadu Buhari sent warm felicitations to Aare Babalola, on his 91st birthday, October 30, 2020, joining friends and family members to celebrate with the educationist, agriculturist and legal luminary. This was contained in a statement issued by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, (Media & Publicity)
President Buhari congratulates Aare Babalola for another year added to his life, and more opportunities to give and show that sharing brings more joy than acquisition, while commending his antecedents in health, education and legal career, training more than 2,500 lawyers in the country, with 15 already recognized as Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
The President salutes the educationist for his high sense of patriotism, visionary leadership and penchant for always channelling his energy and resources into projects that directly impact the life of Nigerians, and providing wise counsels to leaders in both the private and public sectors on best ways to move the country forward.
As the renowned lawyer and philanthropist turns 91, President Buhari prays that the almighty God will bless him and his family, and grant him longer life to keep serving the nation and humanity.
“To be 91 and still retain mental and physical fitness like Aare Afe Babalola is the kind of grace everyone prays for. For almost 60 years, Aare Babalola remains a colossus in the Nigerian law enterprise, making him the most senior attorney in the country.
He is also in the elite list of promoters of quality education in our great country. Aare Babalola is a giant in different dimensions, but nowhere is his height more towering than his devotion to God and philanthropy to the people.
Sir, I join millions of your admirers across the world from diverse fields of endeavour to celebrate you on your birthday and ask that the Almighty shall continue to nourish your roots to continue being fruitful to the world. Happy birthday, Sir.”
Thank You Chief Afe Babalola
By Babafemi Ojudu
My job takes me around Nigeria quite a lot. And It does expose me to many people. Each time I am introduced as being of Ekiti origin it is common for people to tell me ‘oh my son schools in Afe Babalola University’; ‘my daughter just graduated from Afe Babalola University’; ‘I just returned from your state where I went to see my ward at Afe Babalola University. ‘
Each time I am told this , whether in Bayelsa, Gombe, Taraba , Ebonyi, Katsina or Ogun my eyes always lit up in joy. I am always happy to hear that my kinsman has done something remarkable, something that is giving joy to Nigerians across the country.
At a time when most Federal universities established to bring together young people of diverse background are recoiling into their ethnic cocoon both in admission and staffing, private universities such as Afe Babalola are helping in molding our young ones into truly seeing themselves as Nigerians.
A big thank you to Aba”fe , as we call him in our local Ekiti dialect, for, at the twilight of his life, establishing this legacy of excellence . As he inches close to a 100 years in age may God grant him many more years to further nurture this beautiful gift of his to our country.
Wo seun Aba.
Sen Babafemi Ojudu is Special Adviser on Political Matters at the Presidency