The founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola has said the 1999 Constitution in operation is responsible for the myriads of challenges afflicting the country.

Babalola said the provisions of the constitution are antithetical to the development and progress of the country considering the loopholes inherent in the legal framework.

He spoke on Tuesday during his conferment of Africa Role Model and AU Agenda 2063 Ambassadorial Award held at the 7000 seater Alfa Belgore Multipurpose Hall, Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti.

The foremost legal luminary President Muhammad Buhari and his cabinet might find it difficult to succeed in making meaningfully differences on the country socio-economic landscape with the 1999 quasi-federal Constitution which does not suit the country’s peculiar nature.

He said unless bold steps are taken to change the 1999 Constitution which is falsely described as a federal constitution, Nigeria will continue to revolve around the vicious circle of underdevelopment.

Babalola, however, called on Buhari-led government to convene a sovereign national conference whose membership will be elected on Zero party system to design a people-oriented constitution that would address the country’s challenges.

Expressing his gratitude to family and friends for the honour, Babalola said African need transformational leaders that could work for an integrated prosperous and peaceful continent.

“The award is a good omen to millions of youths in Africa particularly those who belong to lowly class. I affirm that no matter your lowly status in life, if I whose formal education stopped in primary six can make it, then you can make it faster and better

“It is a tragedy that Africa today is bereft of transformational leaders such as Mahma Ghandi, Kwame Nkrumah, Nmamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Nelson Mandella and Ahmadu Bello. For Africa to move forward, we need transformational leaders and not operators of 1999 Constitution.

“The renaissance has started in ABUAD. ABUAD is the clear leader in reformation of education. We have succeeded in nine years to transform education in the country,” he said.

In his address, the Nigeria Representative of African Union ECOSOCC, Nigeria Representative, Dr. Tunji Asaolu said Babalola’s contribution to human capital development and other facet of human life was worthy of commendation and emulation.

Asaolu said the continental award was conferred on the legal icon predicated on his legendary achievements in all sphere of human life which has been tremendously contributing to the socio-economic development Africa.

According to him, Babalola is a continental role model whose work and activities are serving as veritable implementation platforms of the AU Agenda 2063.

“It is indeed a worthy honor being done to a worthy Patron, Aare Afe Babalola, for all his achievement so far in life and carrier, to the benefit of a worthy continent.

“Let me make it clear, uncountable factors were put into account before selecting Aare Afe Babalola for this premier continental award. In actual fact, AU is not known to give recognitions flippantly or to compromise its standards, under any guise.

“In this regard, this award and recognition to Aare Afe Babalola, in all fairness, meets all AU standards and norms.

“In total the 3rd General Assembly approved five award slots for 2019 for all of Africa in the alphabetical order of Central, East, North, Southern and West Africa.

“The AU Agenda 2063 slot five approval is for West-Africa; and that is the slot that is being conferred on our father, Aare Afe Babalola today. In all fairness, though, Baba is long overdue for such a honour as this,” he said.

On his part, Governor Kayode Fayemi described Babalola as a pride and blessing to entire humanity, saying his developmental impacts in Ekiti, Nigeria and Africa continent is immeasurable and unquantifiable.

“This is an iconic award given to an iconic of Ekiti State. If there is other human asset a country can have it is Aare Babalola himself.

“You are a pride to Ekiti, Nigeria, Africa and entire human race because you have devoted yourself and resources to the development and progress of humanity,” he said.

The Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi said Babalola noble vitrues and his high ideals of humility, honesty, transparency, integrity earned him integrity beyond the shores of the country.

He added that Babalola has impacted the lives of many through mentorship, scholarship and various philanthropic programmes from which many less privilege had benefited.

“At the critical stage of elite conspiracy against me on the throne, Afe stood by me without minding all the names he was called to scare him from me. He has not only been supporting me professionally but materially as circumstances dictate,” Oba Adeyemi said.

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