Aare Afe Babalola, legal luminary and founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to name the Federal University of Technology, Akure after the late president, Shehu Shagari.
He made this suggestion in a condolence message he released on Sunday.
Chief Babalola also recalled how late President Shagari was directly responsible for the establishment of FUTA and how he was instrumental to the establishment of the present Ekiti State University and Federal Polytechnic both located in Ado Ekiti.
“The people of old Ondo State which included the present Ekiti State will forever remain grateful to the departed hero (Shagari), the Second Republic Senate Leader, late Dr. Olusola Saraki and the then chairman of the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the late Chief Augustus Meredith Adisa Akinloye, who accepted my request to hold a rally in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, 11th of October 1980 where the Federal Government announced the siting of a Federal University of Technology in Ado-Ekiti to begin academic work in October 1981,” he said.
“This announcement gingered the then Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin-led UPN government in the then bigger Ondo State to hastily announce the establishment of a university in Ado-Ekiti. The university was to have eight campuses in Ado-Ekiti, Ikere, Owo and other towns in Ondo State. The political gymnastics that ensued between NPN and UPN led to the transfer of the university of technology meant for Ado-Ekiti to Akure; and the transfer of the Federal Polytechnic at Akure to Ado-Ekiti,” Aare Babalola said.
He also stated that the late President “epitome of decency and integrity” whose sterling qualities included “his vaunting patriotism, open door policy, simplicity, humility and love for education.”
“May I therefore humbly suggest that the Federal Government should consider naming the Federal University of Technology Akure after this illustrious son of Nigeria,” Babalola concluded.