Bolanle Austen-Peters, a film and theatre producer, has praised her father, Afe Babalola, for donating £10 million to establish a learning centre at King’s College in London.
Mrs Austen-Peters made the remarks in separate messages posted on Instagram and Twitter on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, in response to mixed reactions to the news that the Afe Babalola African Centre for Transnational Education is a result of her father’s philanthropy.
Austen-Peters described her father’s £10 million donation as a “token,” saying in an Instagram post that his Afe Babalola University in Ekiti State “also remains No.1 in Nigeria. Thank u for giving hope to many.”
“My Dad @are_afe makes philanthropy beautiful with another gift of 10 million pounds to @KingsCollegeLon for African children’s education after building No. 1 @Abuad_Uni. So proud to be your daughter,” the 54-year-old art entrepreneur tweeted.
Some social media users had previously chastised Babalola for what they saw as a misplaced priority.
Despite the fact that Babalola founded Afe Babalola University and made other contributions to education in Nigeria, the trolls argue that his donation to King’s College, London should have been invested in Nigeria.
The 93-year-old Senior Advocate of Nigeria, however, say his investment in learning is inspired by his belief that “education is the unquestionable panacea to ignorance, poverty, extremism, religious bigotry, and tribalism among other vices.”
Speaking further, he said, “My contribution to this programme is a way of reciprocating what I benefitted from the laudable and unique external degree programme of the University of London in the 1960s without which I certainly would have ended up an unsung farmer or at best the secretary of the local motor union.”
Former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Kingsley Moghalu believes Babalola’s donation to the centre is a worthy investment.
“A great man. A great mind. Afe Babalola’s investments in education in Nigeria (Afe Babalola University) and now abroad are worthy of emulation by the many wealthy Nigerians who only ‘invest’ in politics,” Moghalu tweeted on Monday.