Senate wants Ilorin airport named after Saraki

Olusola Saraki

Lawmakers eulogised the late politician.

The Senate has urged the renaming of Ilorin International airport after late politician and strongman of Kwara State politics, Olusola Saraki.

Lawmakers approved a resolution Tuesday calling on the Federal Government to effect the renaming in honour of Mr. Saraki, a former Senate Leader and father of a serving senator, Bukola Saraki.

“Many years after he left office, he remains easily the best and most known Senate Leader,” current Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said.

For decades, Mr. Saraki remained visible in national politics and dominated the politics of his home state of Kwara.

He drew criticisms for his tactics of centralizing state power to his children, although he also influenced the election of several others for years.

He was the Majority Leader of the Senate between 1979 and 1983 after being elected on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria.

The Senate resolution would be the highest honour Mr. Saraki has received since his death last week although it remains unclear whether the federal government will heed the request.

The resolution followed a motion by Mr. Ndoma-Egba paving the way for lawmakers to deliver their eulogies.

“He was visibly the most popular politician to have come from that part of the country,” said James Manager (PDP- Delta).

Chris Ngige (ACN- Anambra) said beyond politics, Mr. Saraki also contributed immensely to the growth of the medical profession in Nigeria.

“Saraki saw politics as a hobby while his focus always remained on the pursuit of his medical practice. We should ask the Federal government to name a monument after him,” he said.

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