Text of the remarks by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the conferment of Honorary Degree – Doctor of Public Administration on him by Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD).
Education is the light of a nation and ignorance its darkness. Only with that light can we hope to see where we are and to discover the path we must go to realise our greatness as a nation.
To educate a generation is to secure the future. Thus, it is indeed my honour to be here with you for this university stands as a shining beacon, casting the light of education upon our nation and its people.
This university thus serves as a vital piston in the machinery of national progress. Our young people deserve and require quality education that will unlock their utmost potential. This will engender critical thinking and build their capacities for self and national development.
Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) is dedicated to providing that stellar education. Since its inception about 10 years ago, this university has distinguished itself. Its record is exemplary: the National University Commission (NUC) acknowledges ABUAD as “model, benchmark and a reference point as well as pride of university system in Nigeria”.
This excellent assessment confirms that the university is doing the right things in the right way. It confirms that it is contributing significantly to the education of future leaders who will themselves contribute significantly to the wellbeing of our nation and their respective communities.
For this, we must roundly commend and congratulate the university and its founder. I charge the management, the lecturers and other staff members to maintain this record but to also to improve it. The world of progress beckons to us to join it. We are gladdened by the invitation but we dare not tarry too long. For time waits for no person and no nation.
If we do not board the train of progress, it will pass us by. This means we must acquire and use the scientific and technological skills of the 21st Century to advance our common purpose. In this manner, we help break the fetters of underdevelopment and expand the boundaries of economic, intellectual and moral growth.
I understand the university accords special attention to the Sciences and Technology. This is it as it should be. I urge that we consider imparting solid knowledge and proper guidance in those areas where our youths can, upon graduation, begin to reshape the world around them by using their knowledge and ingenuity to improve extant economic processes and to embark on novel and innovative enterprises that will undergird national prosperity for decades to come.
May I use this moment to also congratulate my fellow awardees-Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111; Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, and an entrepreneur and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Green Energy International Limited, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe.
To be considered among this illustrious group is both an honour and a privilege. I deeply treasure this moment. I will continue to do all that I can in order to live up to this acclaim. We must continue to do all that is within our capacities so that we hand over a steady helm and a vibrant and strengthened nation to these young people.
As I end, may I thank Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) for having the vision and determination to establish this pre-eminent university. In a way, we should not be surprised by this feat because Aare Afe Babalola has always been noted for excellence.
Still, it is amazing what you have done in so little time. This is a lesson to us all, showing what one person with a great idea and stoutness of heart can do.
Aare Babalola, I understand, has been leveraging on his contacts across the world to broker partnerships between ABUAD and other foreign universities in Europe, Asia and America to bring this university to its present enviable height. I commend him for this effort and particularly for gifting us a first-class university.
I congratulate ABUAD on its 10th anniversary and seventh convocation. I wish the university a successful celebration and a memorable convocation this year and for all the years to come.
Continue to shine the light of education that Nigeria may be able to see its greater future and broader horizons.