The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola has blamed Africa’s woes on a lack of transformational and visionary leadership.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria at an event in Ado Ekiti shortly after he was conferred with the African Role Model and the African Union Agenda 2063 Ambassador awards by the African Union Economic Socio-Cultural Council.
He said, “It is a tragedy that Africa today is bereft of transformational leaders such as Mahatma Ghandi, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nelson Mandela. For Africa to move forward, we need transformational leaders.
“The 1999 Constitution is, in large measure, responsible for the problems we have in Nigeria today. The constitution has discouraged and crippled development in the states. Consequently, Nigeria remains a poor country like most African countries.
“What Nigeria needs is a bill sponsored by the government, asking the Senate to pass a law for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference that the membership will be elected on zero party system.
“It is only through a true federal constitution that transformational leaders can emerge and a true Nigeria nation can emerge from over the 300 nations in the country. Africa needs leaders who can transform the continent. The renaissance has started in ABUAD. We have succeeded in nine years to transform education in the country.”
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, praised Babalola for making the country proud.
The leader of the AU team, Dr Tunji Ashaolu, said the awards were in recognition of the veteran lawyer’s contribution to the AU agenda in the area of education and other sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari rejoiced with Babalola, over the African Role Model AU Agenda 2063 Ambassadorial Award.
Buhari said Babalola’s large-heartedness and love for humanity won him the honour.
His message of felicitations was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
It said, “The President rejoices with the renowned philanthropist on the global recognition for his efforts to uplift many out of poverty through employment, scholarship, training, healthcare and coaching on entrepreneurship.
“President Buhari believes Aare Babalola’s large-heartedness and love for humanity sets him apart for recognition at home and abroad.”