Eminent jurist, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has said that improper running of government universities led to his establishment of a university to set a standard for the highest level of education in the country.
The legal icon is the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD).
He said his experience as chancellor of the University of Lagos was the turning point because it availed him the opportunity to see the rot in the university education.
Babalola made the revelation yesterday when the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) came to interface with the management of ABUAD on how
the department of pharmacy in the university’s teaching hospital should be established and managed. He said his school had since set the benchmark.
According to Babalola, in less than 10 years of its existence, the university has won laurels in academic and extra curricula activities that have made it stand out as a pacesetter.
The senior advocate took a critical look at the state of the nation and said Nigeria was at a crossroads, adding that it might not move forward as things stood. He lamented the level of poverty in the country and said begging was alien to his generation.
“ABUAD has become a reference point. We have got accolades from former presidents, opinion molders. We have received numerous awards. We have set a benchmark on how a university should be run and we haveset a bar for those seeking to establish private university.
“ Some people have seen beggingas a way of life, contrary to what they believed in, because of poverty caused by bad governance. Today, Nigeria is at a crossroads. The Yoruba were not used to begging in the 40’s and 50’s, they used to stone beggars because they viewed it as a shameful act.
“But today, go to occasions and see how well dressed people beg for money. That was why we want to join the change agents using our university as a model; even ABUAD is synonymous with change.”
The President of PCN, Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, said the mission ofthe regulatory body in ABUAD was to assess the pharmacy department and to recommend how best to run it.