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‘Living legend’ — Akin Fadeyi Foundation celebrates Afe Babalola on Impact Series

Afe Babalola, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was the centre of admiration and homage at the inaugural edition of ‘The Impact Series’ by the Akin Fadeyi Foundation. 

The event, which was held virtually, celebrated the legal luminary’s impact on Ekiti, his native state, and Nigeria.

The speakers at the programme were Babatunde Wahab, student affairs officer at the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), and Ayo Fajana, chief executive officer (CEO) on special duties for ABUAD.

Wahab revealed that familial issues almost derailed Babalola’s educational progress in his younger days.

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He narrated how the legal luminary was refused the opportunity to get a formal secondary school education due to the actions of his stepmother.

“Afe Babalola never had a formal secondary school education due to some human factors. After he obtained a primary school education, he was admitted to a secondary school in Ado Ekiti, but because of his father’s second wife, he could not attend,” Wahab said.

“The second wife, who had a son, instituted that the amount of money that would be used to send Afe Babalola to school must also be paid to her little son, who was just a toddler.

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“She insisted on her demand, and the father said he could not afford such a condition. So, Afe Babalola was not allowed to attend school.”

On his part, Fajana described Babalola as a “living legend whose involvement in the creation of Ekiti cannot be overemphasised”.

He added that Babalola also donated “about N2 billion” to the Ekiti government to help construct the state’s cargo airport.

“He was the one who, on March 6, 1996, convinced the panel on state creation that Ekiti state was ripe to become a state,” Fajana said.

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“For the creation of Ekiti state, he must have contributed more than every other person. He is the biggest taxpayer in the whole of Ondo and Ekiti state combined.

“For the ongoing cargo airport, I am privileged to be one of the committee members who evaluated the acquired land for the airport. Since then, he has been donating a lot of money for the conclusion of that project. Recently, he donated about N2 billion for services like the navigating equipment.”

He added that Babalola deserves more accolades from the successive governments of Ekiti because “nobody has contributed to the sustenance of the state” than him.

The Impact Series is an initiative of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation which celebrates Nigeria’s unsung heroes during their lifetime. 

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Akin Fadeyi, the foundation’s executive director, said the series will be a “digital footprint celebration of living icons” across different sectors.

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