By Adejumo Kabir
The Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife; Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, the Royal Majesty, Alaafin of Oyo; Oba Lamidi Adeyemi lll and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti; Aare Afe Babalola Stormed Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife yesterday.
The trio were in OAU for the 2017 Distinguished Annual Lecture Series of the Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University titled: “Educational, Constitutional, Responsibilities And Governance In Nigeria”.
Aare Babalola, who delivered the keynote lecture address said the late Sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo contribution to education development was legendary with his introduction of free primary education in 1955.
According to him, infrastructural decay, lack of adequate funding and inability to attract the best teaching minds among other factors are stagnating our universities to the current appalling point whereby no Nigeria University is ranked among the top 1000
He said absence of robust constitutional and legislative safeguards on educational right continues to hinder educational security in Nigeria and condemned government failure to properly fund education to be competitive and functional.
Babalola said “education goes beyond schooling; it transcends classroom teaching and the attendant certification. It is the process of inviting truth and acquiring all round knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and character needed to become a better citizen. Education has long been recognized as both a human right and an indispensable means of realising other human rights.”
“While other serious countries have guaranteed the right of education through enforceable legal instruments that empower citizens to hold the political class to account for failing to finance education, Nigerian citizens are left to depend on the goodwill of the ruling class or pursue incessant strike actions due to the failure of the political class to protect, defend and fulfill the fundamental human rights to education.”
“Nigeria, with a population of over 180 million people has total number of 153 universities while Japan with a population of 127 million has a total number of 779 universities. It is of no value to have several universities issuing only certificate, we need institutions where students can access and acquire the required skills for self actualisation and nation building”, he said.
The legal luminary called on the universities alumni to contribute to their respective institutions that reshape their lives and made them prosperous in life.
“Alumnus of a university is a child of the university that trained him or her, for example, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife graduate output from 1963/1964 to 2014/2015 amounted to 136,270, one expects good child to cater for both the biological father and the university which is the other father, if the substantial number of the alumnus of OAU are contributing to the institution, OAU story will today be different”
Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi commended OAU Faculty of Education the distinguish lecture which according to him capture the mood of the nation especially education sector and attracting a personality of Aare Afe Babalola which influenced his attendance that of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi lll.
“I am honoured to have Alaafin of Oyo in Ife and I indeed happy to be part of this success story”, Ooni said.
Also, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi commends the conduct of the students of for the warm reception and orderliness exhibited before and during the lecture saying they have genuinely imbibed OAU excellent character culture.