Members of the Afenifere Renewal Group and opposition parties in Kwara State have differed with the state government over the propriety or otherwise of renaming the Kwara State University, after the late politician, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
The opposition parties include Action Congress of Nigeria and Congress for Progressive Change.
Speaking at the public hearing by the House Committee on Education and Human Capital Development on ‘A law to change the name of Kwara State University and connected purposes,” in Ilorin on Monday, the ARG and opposition parties advised against renaming KWASU after Saraki. They argued that doing so would be counter-productive.
A member of the ARG, who represents Kwara Central, Alhaji Baba Bako, on behalf of other ARG members, warned that the House should not be stampeded by the Executive to horridly pass the bill renaming KWASU to Saraki into law.
He also called for transparency in the process.
“Truly, the late Waziri was elected a senator and a senate leader from 1979-1983, what landmark development did his leadership at the Senate bring to Kwara State for that period? There could not have been meaningful development when the senator locked horns with Governor Adamu Atta in a titanic political struggle code named Salake (axe him), which was the first evidence of violence and thuggery in Kwara State politics.
“He made governors and other political office holders. God used him to make governors and there was none of those governors, including his son, that he did not fight,” Bako said.
ACN member, Iyiola Akogun, said KWASU should not be re-named after Saraki.
Chairman, Kwara State House Committee on Education and Human Capital Development, Nimota Ibrahim said the proposed renaming was the desired fulfillment of the yearnings and aspirations of majority of Kwarans.
Also, the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mohammed Lade said Saraki deserved KWASU’s renaming.
He stated that Saraki contributed immensely to education development, adding that many people were beneficiaries of his philanthropy and generosity.
“That person is no longer alive and we feel we should use the renaming of the Kwara state University after him. We also received a proposal the KWASU governing council on the need to immortalise Baba. We don’t have any other thing to give the late politician than to name the university after him,” he said.
Moggaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Saliu Mohammed said Saraki was a reliable, true and patriotic Nigerian. He added that he was a friend of the weak and oppressed as well as produced many governors.