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Tribute to Shehu Shagari: name of the Federal University of Akure Technology after Shagari

By Aare Afe Babalola

I I was saddened much when I heard about the departure of the former president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Usman.

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Shehu Shagari

Our late deceased president, who had the rare opportunity to govern Nigeria during the Second Republic, he was a man of honor, dignity and character, a very considerate, accessible, objective, disinterested and kind man.

I had the rare privilege of meeting him when I was Federal Government Advisor in the investigation of the judges Ayo Irikefe on a supposed 2,800 million pounds deviated from the central bank of England to a private account in the Midland Bank in England.

What highlights this epitome of decency and integrity is its patriotism, its politics open door, its simplicity, its humility and its love for education.

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The people of the ancient state of Ondo that included the current state of Ekiti perma will always be grateful to the deceased hero (Shagari), the leader of the Second Republic Senate, the late Dr. Olusola Saraki and the then president 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, October 11, 1980, where the federal government announced the citation of a Federal University of Technology in Ado-Ekiti to begin its academic career. Work in October 1981.

This announcement caused the then chief Michael Adekunle, the UPN government led by Ajasin in the then larger Ondo state, to quickly announce the establishment of a university in Ado-Ekiti. The university had to have eight campuses in Ado-Ekiti, Ikere, Owo and other cities in the state of Ondo

The political gymnastics that followed between NPN and UPN led to the transfer of the university of technology destined for Ado- Ekiti to Akure; and the transfer of the Akure Federal Polytechnic to Ado-Ekiti.

The late Alhaji Sagari was, therefore, responsible for the three superior institutions that now exist in the Ondo and Ekiti states. His name will remain indelible in the hearts of the righteous members of the two states.

By his death, Nigeria has lost a rare gem and an irreplaceable hero, who stood up and fought for the good of the majority. Our consolation is that he led a good life and, above all, left his indelible traces in the sand of the times. Without a doubt, he was a great man, a worthy and exemplary example of what a leader should be

Commitment to President Muhammadu Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III and all the Shagari family of Sokoto for the death of this distinguished citizen who played his role very well.

While I wish him well-deserved rest, I pray that Almighty Allah will grant the Shagaris and the people of Nigeria the grace and equanimity to endure the irreparable loss.

His humanitarian services and the many lives he touched while on planet earth will surely keep him in good standing before the Almighty, the Creator of all things.

Therefore, I can humbly suggest that the Federal Government should consider appointing Akure Federal University of Technology after this illustrious son of Nigeria.

AARE AFE BABALOLA, OFR, WITH, SAN, LL.D (London), LL.D (UNILAG) D. Lit. (NDA), FNSE, FNIALS ]

Founder and Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

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