Aare Afe Babalola (SAN)
The renowned Legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has absolved President Muhammadu Buhari of the orgy of the insurgency and killings bedeviling the nation.
Babalola who spoke in his institution, Afe Babaola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) while being honoured by Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on Thursday said Military took over of government in 1966, which ushered in a lopsided unitary system in the country and abrogated the regional system, was responsible for the unwholesome scenarios playing out in the facets of herdsmen killings and Boko Haram insurgency.
The revered lawyer was decorated with the Sir Ahmadu Bello Platinum Award as the ‘The Icon of Greater Nigeria’ and Garkuwan Matasan Arewa Najeriya by the youth group.
Babalola said: “The essence of government is to guarantee the security of lives and property of the people. President Buhari is not to blame for this insecurity but the military.
“Before the military took over in 1966, Nigeria was operating regional system with each region growing and developing faster at its own pace.
“These regions were closer to the people. Killings or insurgency were alien to our culture then. Nigerians love one another, though they were divided politically.
“I want to say that if those regions were allowed then, the country would have had a nation or nations that are well developed today”, he said.
Babalola regretted how Nigerians were dying to leadership failure, particularly the civil servants and pensioners due to non-payment of their entitlements.
“Many pensioners have died having been owed several years of pension arrears. Even those in the service were owed seven or eight months salary arrears, so just like I said earlier, our leaders have turned us into beggars”, he lamented.
Talking about the vision of his university, which was to build the youth into a reliable future leaders, Babalola told the group that many of the rich men in the Northern part of Nigeria have financial
wherewithal to establish such fast-growing university.
“There are many rich people in Nigeria who can establish this kind of university with the vision to bring quality education as well as moral and cultural values to the doorstep of Nigerians.
“If we have this kind of university in each of the six geopolitical zones or every state , Nigeria will change for better.
“Go to the North and propagate the ideals which my university stands for. Nigeria must be united at all cost for us to make a headway and overcome all our challenges”, Babalola stated.
The leader of the youth group, Mr. Steven Bidemi, said the honour was in recognition of Babalola’s contributions to humanity and the unity of the Nigerian nation.
“At a time when Nigeria youth are facing relegation from the scheme of things, Babalola continued to exhibit youth friendly vision which gave us a renewed hope as leaders of tomorrow.
“Chief Babalola is a symbol of a true Nigeria where unity, love, integrity, compassion and brotherhood take a sit at the high table. He is a true representation of Sardauna’s philosophy, which was about
religious and ethnic tolerance”, he said.