Emmanuel Kehinde, ilorin
The founder of Bayo and Bunmi Babalola Foundation, Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola, has said that open grazing had led to many children becoming internally displaced persons(IDPs) as a result of clashes between herders and farmers in many of the country.
He said this on Tuesday in Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, during the sixth edition of the scholarship awards NGO to some students in the area.
Represented by the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the foundation, Mr. Dele Ajiboye, a retired secondary school principal, Babalola called for the replacement of open grazing with ranching, arguing that “ranching is modern, productive, safe and profitable.”
He warned that the future of children must not be mortgaged by open grazing, which he stated, had become anachronistic and obsolete.
Our Correspondent reports that 95 pupils from Junior Secondary School 3; 64 from Senior Secondary School (WASC); 169 students from tertiary institutions and 221 benefitted from the foundation’s scholarship award.
Babalola recalled that a total of 1,362 students and pupils had benefited from scholarships since the inception of the scheme while 549 benefitted from the award this year.
He also said the NGO had invested about N29.4m, (excluding logistics) for the scholarships of the 1,362 beneficiaries.
The National President, Omu-Aran Development Association, Major General Yemi Abidoye(rtd), described education as the most valuable asset in life which would make the younger generation true leaders of tomorrow.
He lauded Engineer Babalola for his scholarship initiative, adding that his benevolence had turned the fortunes of many brilliant but indigent students in the area.
The national president,who noted that aside from the scholarship, Engineer Babalola also played active roles in moving the entire community forward, prayed God to continue to bless him.
The retired military officer advised the students and pupils to emulate their benefactor and shun internet scams and other social vices so that they would be useful for themselves and the society in future.
He also admonished parents and guardians to perform their roles effectively.