THE founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has put smiles on the faces of two mentally-ill orphans in Ekiti State.
The lucky orphans from Kogi and Ondo states were taken from the street and rehabilitated by Babalola in his university’s multi-system hospital’s intensive Medicare after 15 years of mental derangement.
Speaking on Thursday at a ceremony organised to reunite them with their families at ABUAD, Babalola said he had to show pity after discovering them in their pitiable lunatic condition.
He said ABUAD got approval from Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi about the university’s intention to take lunatics off Ekiti streets for rehabilitation.
The legal icon said his unquenchable thirst to give hope to the hopeless and help the helpless propelled him to pick the orphans for rehabilitation.
Babalola added that he derived pleasure from donating to humanity for the benefit of mankind, describing his philanthropic gesture as God’s gift and innate.
“I think what I am doing is natural. I remember my mother used to scold me that I was a thriftless person. I am just used to giving and helping others, particularly the poor and the sick.
“I established this university and hospital to fight poverty through philanthropy. I am only happy when people around me are happy.
“What I did was to display passion for humanity and I believe we can all do same. The lunatics on the streets are humans; don’t stone or discriminate against them. Instead of doing that, bring them to ABUMSH for treatment.
“From today, these two ladies have become my daughters and I will establish them with businesses that will make them successful in life,” he said.
Babalola urged the people not to stigmatise mental illness patients.
The ABUAD founder also advised the government to borrow a leaf from him and replicate such gesture in helping the destitute.
ABUAD’s Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Sylvester Ojo said Babalola had replicated the same gesture through scholarships, free legal services to the oppressed and giving funds to farmers in the 16 local government areas of the state to boost food production.