Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose and immediate past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, have advocated a special place for learning and character in the Nigeria’s education sector
Speaking yesterday at the third convocation ceremony of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, they said such will go a long way in sharpening the minds of future leaders for better governance and value re-orientation.
They commended the founder of the university, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN’s) innovation and vision that made him to establish the institution on the two virtues.
Fayose posited that there is need for a holistic education that would not only impact knowledge but will also mould the characters of the graduates to make desirable changes in the system.
At the occasion, Jega was conferred with the honorary doctor of Public Administration, former ICPC Chairman, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, honorary doctor of Law while the duo of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Bishop Matthew Kukah bagged honorary doctor of Letters.
According to the governor, “Education is more about life than wealth. Aside government, Afe Babalola is the largest employer of labour in Ekiti and that is why my government wants to build an airstrip in Ado Ekiti that would become a full-fledged airport later to help in the expansion of this university.
“I am committed to this project and there is no going back on that. There are 12 private universities in Ogun, six in Osun, six in Lagos, four in Ondo and one in Ekiti, which is Afe Babalola University. So, there is nothing I will do to make this university survive that is too much”.
Prof Jega who described the university as the glorious model of all excellently built institution in the country urged governments at all levels and institution to emulate the ABUAD’s innovation of education with learning and character, to help the future of the country.
“Nigeria’s vision in education is gradually being achieved through Afe Babalola University. There is need to set a standard for the growth of education in this country.
“One cannot de-emphasize the character of a graduate. Learning and character must go together and when these virtues are exhibited out there, it will surely contribute to the development of our country”.
In his remarks, Chief Babalola explained that the rot noticed in the country’s education sector informed his decision to establish a university of his own, which is today known as ABUAD.
He said he was not surprised that the university had within few years become a model among its peers on the continent.