Afe Babalola: Standing stall with garland of Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize

Afe Babalola: Standing stall with garland of Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize
Place Your Ads Here

Forty-onE days after he received The Sun Education Entrepreneur Award for 2018, for his “uncommon contributions to the development of the education sector,” the world congregated last Wednesday, March 6, 2019, united in joy and élan to celebrate the distinguished legal icon, frontline educationist, unsparing philanthropist, a valiant entrepreneur and the kindly founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), as he was formally celebrated and decorated with the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo Prize in Leadership for 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.

One after another, the nattily dressed crème de la crème of society, ranging from members of the Bar and the Bench, legal academics, royalty, the clergy, governors and former governors and business moguls to members of the diplomatic community, started streaking into the well appointed Harbour Point on Victoria Island, Lagos, to celebrate Babalola who has been chosen for the award, having been “unanimously adjudged to possess the attributes for the award of the highest degree in the areas of educational transformation, people-centred advocacy and support for the underprivileged. You are, therefore, the recipient of the 2018 Obafemi Awolowo Prize in Leadership.”

Place Your Ads Here

This makes Babalola the third African to win the award since its inception, as two notable Africans, former South African President, Mr. Thambo Mbeki, and Africa’s first Nobel laureate in literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, have won the award in the past, just as he is the third African to be honoured with an honorary doctorate degree in the 179-year history of the University of London after former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, who received a honorary doctorate degree in Economics of the university in 1996, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was conferred with a honorary degree in Divinity in 2008.

But Babalola remains the first African to have been honoured with an LL.D of the University of London, thus making him a triple alumnus of the university, having obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the frontline university in 1959 and an LL.B in 1963.

Even though the cheering and elevating news was broken during the 70th anniversary of the rebranded Nigerian Tribune, one of the leading Nigerian tabloids, in Lagos on January 29, 2019, by the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who is also the chairman of the selection committee of the Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Award, a February 1, 2019, letter signed by the executive director of the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, formally conveyed the nomination to Babalola.

Babalola was unanimously elected for the award on account of his inherent qualities of political strategy, education, integrity, caring for the welfare of the masses, consistency in policies and courage, among several others, which constitute a veritable nexus between him and the first Premier of the Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo (SAN).

It was the combination of the above stated attributes and his impacting humanity through his immeasurable and indescribable humanitarian and philanthropic programmes that have won him the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize for 2018.

This award is coming five years after Babalola won the equally high-status Zik Prize in Leadership for 2013 for his “genuine commitment to promoting the cause of humanity, which has marked you out as a philanthropist whose social consciousness is a source of inspiration to millions of Nigerians.”

The Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize has unarguably become an added and well-deserved feather to the already crowded cap of a man who has adorned the country’s legal, philanthropic, agricultural and educational landscape with unparalleled industry, unalloyed service and uncommon compassion.

Towards the tail end of the celebration, which took place in Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Anyaoku once again mounted the podium with many thinking that he wanted to round off proceedings for the day. But, rather, he said, inter alia, that Babalola had been adjudged the winner of the highly treasured Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize for 2018 for “distinguishing himself in the provision of quality education, just like the sage (Chief Obafemi Awolowo), advocacy for the masses through legal intervention and other means.”

Anyaoku said the prize had not been awarded since Mbeki took it home in 2014 because “there was no individual in Africa among nominees worthy to be honoured with the award in the last four years because none met the criteria spelt out to justify their candidacy for the honour.”

According to him, the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership was for individuals who have demonstrated the attributes of political strategy, education, integrity, caring for the welfare of the masses, consistency in policies and courage, among several others, for which the late Premier was well-known, stressing that it was only Babalola who was found worthy as an individual among the nominees who vied for the award.

His words: “Afe Babalola has distinguished himself in the provision of quality education just like the sage, advocacy for the masses through legal intervention and other means to deserve the award.”

After his thought-provoking and well-received lecture, titled, “Awoism and the Unending Search for Transformational Leadership in Nigeria: Political, Economic, Educational and Social Challenges,” where he dissected the various ills afflicting the Nigerian project and went ahead to proffer solutions to them, an obviously elated Babalola called on Nigerians to team up with great vigour, intellect and selflessness like Awolowo did during his time, to tackle the wicked and complex challenges facing Nigeria today.

As someone who is passionate that the Nigerian projects works, he offered to work with them to make this happen sooner than later.

The well-attended award ceremony was rounded off with a reception organised by Babalola’s children at the Terra Kulture Arena, owned by the dynamic and highly gifted Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, a lawyer and connoisseur of arts.

Source: Tunde Olofintila, Sun News.

Don't miss out!
Subscribe To Our Hot Updates

Be the first to discover popular and treding stories

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Place Your Ads Here


  1. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
    using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers
    and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would
    be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard
    work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to
    prevent hackers?

  3. I just couldn’t go away your site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the usual
    information an individual supply in your guests?
    Is going to be again continuously in order
    to check out new posts

  4. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and let me
    tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is
    something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  5. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was
    once a enjoyment account it. Glance advanced to more introduced agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  6. I’m really inspired together with your writing abilities and also with
    the structure to your weblog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it your
    self? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like
    this one nowadays..

  7. Excellent blog here! Additionally your web site loads up fast!
    What host are you the use of? Can I get your associate hyperlink for your host?
    I desire my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  8. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for
    something completely unique. P.S Apologies
    for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  9. After I originally commented I seem to have clicked
    the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment.

    Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service?

  10. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness for your submit is simply spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well along with your permission allow me to take hold of your RSS
    feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you
    1,000,000 and please carry on the enjoyable

  12. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Cheers pof natalielise

  13. This is the right webpage for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.
    You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for a long time.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  14. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have
    discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I hope to give a contribution & help different users like its helped me.
    Good job. natalielise pof

  15. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless just imagine if you added some great photos
    or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your
    content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could certainly be one of the best in its field.
    Very good blog!

  16. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Very useful information specifically the last part :
    ) I care for such information a lot. I was looking
    for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  17. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell

  18. hey there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical points using
    this website, as I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I
    could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes
    affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if
    advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail
    and can look out for much more of your respective fascinating content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  19. Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He always kept talking about this. I’ll forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’ll have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

  20. Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy
    reading through your articles. Can you recommend any
    other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
    Appreciate it!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here