By Kingsley Okoye
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, has felicitated with Chief Afe Babalola on his 90th birthday.
Bamidele, in a signed statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja, extolled the virtues of the founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, (ABUAD)
He described the legal icon as an embodiment of remarkable legacies in Ekiti, the legal profession and humanity as a whole.
The lawmaker, representing Ekiti Central at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, said Babalola, even at 90, had not looked back in giving back to the society through uplifting the downtrodden and purposeful leadership.
Bamidele also identified the establishment of the world-class ABUAD as one of the enduring legacies, which the nonagenarian would long be remembered for.
He also attributed Babalola’s rise from a humble background to national recognition to hardwork, dedication and grace of God.
“Any keen reader of his enviable story in the last five decades or more, would of course readily admit that Chief Afe Babalola is a unique profile in dramatic trajectory from grass to grace.
“Aare, as he is addressed, is an ebullient and iconic personality, who did not have the childhood luxury of being born with a silver spoon.
“He does not even fall in the category of those young men, who had fortune smiling on them on a platter of gold.
“But, today, he is a highly respected professional giant, an award winning technocrat, a renowned legal luminary, a successful business mogul, a superb elder statesman and a revered community leader.
“He is a compassionate and unrelenting philanthropist and, above all, a life coach and mentor to many accomplished gentlemen and ladies of repute,” he said.
Bamidele urged the generation of younger Nigerians to emulate the resilience and industry of Babalola, which he said enabled him to conquer his environment.
“Over the years, by a dint of hardwork, professional focus and consistency, as well as a very unique style of service delivery, Chief Afe Babalola rose to national prominence and became a household phenomenon in the nation’s justice sector.
“Having at various times, served as an indefatigable and most brilliant legal consultant to the Federal and State Governments, political juggernauts and corporate bodies.
He also consulted for several royal families across the nation for the settlement of sundry legal and constitutional disputes of national and international importance.
“At a prime age of 90, Afe Babalola remains a great pride and an illustrious ambassador of the people of Ekiti, the Yoruba people of the South West and Nigeria as whole.
“I join millions of Nigerians to celebrate his 90th birthday anniversary as well as 10 years of monumental and unprecedented achievements of the prestigious ABUAD today”.
He prayed to God to keep the celebrant for the entire human race to continue to tap from his wealth of knowledge and wisdom. (NAN)