Founder/Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has expressed regrets that Nigerian leaders have failed the youths because they have failed to show good character and lay good examples to the younger generation.
Babalola who spoke on the campus of the university on Thursday shortly after he was honoured as the Grand Patron of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) lamented what he called “indiscipline in high places in the country” which he said was inimical to national development.
The legal icon was decorated by the NYCN National President, Ibukun Oluwole, on behalf of 60 million Nigerian youths.
Babalola received the medal of patronship, a certificate of honour and a giant portrait amidst ovation by ABUAD principal officers, senior management staff and national executive members and state leaders of NYCN.
According to him, ABUAD came on stream because of the decay in the public university system adding that his university has provided the best launching pad for the nation’s youths to realize their dreams.
Babalola said: “Our universities should turn out graduates who are worthy in learning and character and change can only begin from our youths.
“We don’t want leaders who will be criminals; we don’t want youths who will be looking for jobs but youths who will be self-employed and employers of labour and that is our focus here in ABUAD
“Those we look up to as of our leaders have failed us, most of the institutions that are also expected to train children in both character and learning have also failed us
“In my opinion,those regarded as leaders are supposed to be role models who will impact the right type of leadership on the youth of this country
“This, to me has become necessary as no country can ever attain greatness if her youths are not well molded for the future,we must build our youth to greatness,and not the other way round because the country’s future depends on them.”
Earlier, NYCN president, Oluwole, said Babalola was honoured as mark of appreciation for his philanthropy, love for education and positive disposition to matters affecting youth across Nigeria.
Oluwole said ABUAD is Nigeria’s answer to globally-acclaimed universities like Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and Yale advising Nigerians not to send their wards overseas because Babalola had established a university that can be compared with the world’s best.
The NYCN chief hailed Babalola for assisting the less privileged and building he future of the younger generation saying the ABUAD founder eminently deserved the accolade as the body’s Grand Patron.
Oluwole said: “ABUAD is a country within a state, we don’t need to go abroad to get experts. Just come over to ABUAD and get what you want. Aare Babalola is a role model for the Nigerians youths and that is why we have decided to make him our Grand Patron.
“In a country where so many people take their money abroad, Afe Babalola has invested in Nigeria. Policy formulation is not our problem in Nigeria but policy implementation. We are recommending ABUAD to the Federal Government about diversification of our economy
“If they have (Nelson) Mandela in South Africa, we have Afe Babalola in Nigeria; if they have (Ronald) Reagan in America, we have Afe Babalola in Nigeria. By now, the name Afe Babalola should have entered the Guinness Book of Records.”
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