Exactly one week after the world congregated at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), to celebrate its 7th Founder’s Day and 4th Convocation ceremonies, it was another celebration on Friday, October 28, when the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, with other royal fathers, including the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Aladesanmi III, visited the six-year-old university.
Dressed in immaculate white apparel with a golden crown and a golden staff of office, the Ooni, a man of royalty who is interested in the unity of the Yoruba nation, strolled into Alfa Belgore Hall amid tumultuous and rousing welcome. People from different strata of the ABUAD community and who wore their sartorial best were there to welcome his majesty.
After the pleasantries and the razzmatazz associated with such high profile event, the frontline royal father, who said he was more than impressed with what he saw in the six-year-old university, described Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) as a typical example of “something growing out of nothing and becoming great within a very short time of its existence”.
Oba Ogunwusi commended the founder and Chancellor of ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), whom he described as straightforward personality for his vision in establishing the university and taking it to a very high pedestal in six years and for the rousing welcome the Babalolas and the entire university community organised in his honour.
He said: “I have been reading about Aare Afe Babalola in the newspapers for many years now, but today, I will tell him something he doesn’t know. He has been one of my mentors. He is a very forthright and straightforward Ekiti man. Future leaders should take a study on what Ekiti is and what makes it what it is today, the Fountain of Knowledge”
He added: “I have equally noticed that it is not money that drives this great man’s vision. Rather, it is passion and a clear vision; passion for excellence and a clear vision that cannot be mistaken. I then asked him why this vision and he told me somebody has to do it; someone has to bell the cat.
“Aare Afe Babalola told me how he planted a tree 25 years ago and how he has now begun to reap a bountiful harvest thereof”.
He thanked Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola for her support for the vision, stressing that her name which has already been etched in letters of gold can never be erased.
Addressing the students who turned out in their thousands to catch a glimpse of him, the Ooni, who said his visit to ABUAD was another memorable day for him and a great honour to address “great leaders of tomorrow”, urged them to plant a tree now, like Babalola did 25 years ago and nurture it into fruition, stressing that there is no short cut to success.
Affirming that the students have what it takes to have their destinies shaped and nurtured in ABUAD, Oba Ogunwusi said: “Your founder planted a tree 25 years ago and he is reaping the harvest today. Each of you should plant a tree today and nurture it because there is no short cut to success. There is a process for everything. Just look at the way the sun rises and sets. Look at the way the moon shines. Look at the way the rain falls. There is a process that cannot be short circuited”.
He urged the students to identify people who can shape their lives and have plans of what they want to grow in their souls, how happy they want to become in future and how fulfilled they want to become in future and work assiduously towards attaining those goals.
The Oba, who opted to to stand up while addressing the students because of his philosophy of life and his love and respect for the younger ones said: “I have a very simple philosophy of life and that is the fact that I have a lot of respect and love for people coming behind me. I accord them greater respect and honour than those in front of me because only God knows what those coming behind me will become.
“There is only one Supreme Being who knows tomorrow. Nobody, but God Himself, knows the future of the beautiful and handsome faces I am seeing here. But I know that future Presidents, Governors, wives of Presidents and great Engineers that will transform this country abound here; future leaders that will turn around the future of this country.”
He, therefore, advised them to put themselves together, conduct themselves very well, be of good character and put up very clear action plans because people will look up to them as leaders in future.
In his remarks, Oba Adejugbe described the Ooni as “the Ooni of our dream, who has been visiting the hot spots in Yoruba land in search of peace and unity”. No wonder then that on January 17, this year, Oba Ogunwusi visited the Alaafin of Oyo, embraced the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the first of such in 79 years; thus dousing the near-four decades cold “war” between the two powerful and leading thrones in Yoruba land. He has equally visited the Owa Obokun of Ijesa land, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, the Ogunsua of Modakeke and many others preaching the gospel of peace and unity.
Responding, Babalola, who donned his trademark hat and flashing his ubiquitous smile, described Ooni’s visit as an important day in the life of his university, the life of the nation and in his own life as he was receiving in audience a royalty who believes in oneness and unity of the Yoruba nation and demonstrating it in action and not in mere words.
He commended the Ooni for choosing to visit the Alaafin, embracing him, thus resolving the supremacy tussle between the two frontline Obas which no one, including the courts, has been able to resolve in decades.
“This is the type of leader this country needs. When a man thinks about how to change the world and he demonstrates it through the way he relates with others, including students, such indeed is a true leader. I salute you sir”, Babalola said.
He thanked the royal father for his words of commendation and encouragement for his family and the university, stressing that he will continue to strive to raise a new generation of leaders and build a new Nigeria.
- Olofintila wrote from Ado-Ekiti
from The Nation Nigeria http://ift.tt/2eZ1bfV