If recent call is anything to go by, then the Kwara State University (KWASU) may soon be named after Second Republic Senate leader, the late Dr. Olusola Saraki. This is even as agitation to that effect resurfaced at the formal launch of an educational foundation, Sola Saraki Educational Foundation (SSEF), in his honour in Ilorin on Thursday.
Leading the call was a life-long associate of the late politician, Chief Tunji Arosanyin, who is chairman of the SSEF. He argued that legislative processes had been concluded for the name-change since 2013 and should be implemented without delay.
About N50 million was realised at the event with the state government doling out N15 million. Other donors included the state’s House of Assembly (N10m), Deputy Senate Minortiy Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi (N10m), Alhaji Moshood Mustapha (N2m) and wife of the deceased politician, Mrs. Morenike Saraki, (N1m).
Scion of the deceased, Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki was represented at the event by prominent politician and All Progressive Congress (APC) stalwart, Alhaji Kawu Baraje. Similarly, the chairman of the event, Senator Dino Melae was absent. No donation was announced for either the Senate President or Melaye but Baraje doled out N1milion in his personal recognition.
Arosanyin, who recalled having participated in the public debate on the bill by lawmakers in Kwara state to rename KWASU after Saraki, said he had been expectant like many other followers of the late politician that the state government would act on the bill.
“People who know the contributions of Saraki to Kwara state since its creation until he was called to glory are anxiously waiting for the positive decision of the state government in the re-naming, especially when other states in Nigeria are honouring their leaders in such ways,” he said.
Convener of the SSEF, Alhaji Ladi Hassan, said it would focus on national and international endowment for medicine and medical education, an area the late politician had keen interest in his life time.
The foundation hopes to sponsors indigent students in the medical discipline and also endow professorial chairs in Nigerian and foreign universities to immortalise the late Saraki.
Other areas of focus for the group is the offer of free treatment for children in need of medical and surgical correction of congenital health diseases in foreign hospitals while there is a future plan to build a specialist hospitals that would cater for such needs locally.