Group berates IEDPU’s call for renaming of UNILORIN after Sheikh Alimi * Says call self serving, injurious to other senatorial districts Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

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A socio-cultural group under the agies of the Kwara South Consultative Forum (KSCF) has chided the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) for its call for the
renaming of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) after an Ilorin Islamic scholar, Sheikh Alimi, describing the call as self serving and
injurious to the sensibilities of the two other senatorial districts in the state.

In the same vein, the Forum has also rejected IEDPU’s call for the display of the portrait of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari alongside the official portraits of the President and Governor in Kwara state.

KSCF made its position known on Thursday at a press conference in Ilorin, the state capital, addressed by its leader, Sir Joseph Aderibigbe, who was represented by the Forum’s General Secretary, Engr. Simon Daramola.

It would be recalled that the IEDPU
had late December 2023 called for the renaming of the University of Ilorin after Sheikh Alimi, the founder of Alimi dynasty, while also asking the Kwara state Government to ‘direct all heads of government offices, captains of industries and Chairmen of the five local government areas in Ilorin Emirate to henceforth display the portrait of the Emir of Ilorin alongside the official portraits of the President and Governor in their offices.

According to Sir Aderibigbe, KSCF would rebuff any attempt to foist on the rest of the two other senatorial districts any agenda that gives the impression that other citizens in the state are subservient, inferior or outsiders in their own state.

He said: “The fact that the University is Ilorin is located in Ilorin does not confer ownership on the city. The privilege of being the host community should not be misconstrued to mean exclusive ownership either. The entire state is the catchment area of the University.

“The significance of the history of the head of the Alimi dynasty bears no relevance to the people of Igbomina, Ibolo and Ekiti descents in Kwara South senatorial district and even the other senatorial district.

“It will, therefore, be unjust and unreasonable to impose a name that does not have a state- widespread on our collective inheritance. The demands of IEDPU, if allowed to stay, will not only injure our unity but also stall every effort at engendering even spread of development across the state.

“They are self-serving requests that will not do this highly prided State of Harmony any good. Our concern, therefore, is to disabuse or discourage any attempt to foist on the rest of us any agenda that will paint other citizens as being subservient, inferior or outsiders in their own state.”

Speaking on the display of Emir’s portrait in government offices, Sir Aderibigbe said: “To us, this is a joke carried too far. We find it difficult to fathom the rationale behind this bizarre suggestion. For the sake of clarity, the President and the Governor are elected public officers chosen by the people to serve them for a specific period of time. Their portraits are therefore hanged as a mark of respect for their offices. While we hold the Emir in the highest esteem, we find it difficult to understand in what capacity his portrait should be hanged in public or private offices.”

Sir Aderibigbe equally stressed the need to site the proposed Kwara State University of Education in Kwara south contrary to the position of IEDPU that wanted it to be sited in Ilorin, which, according to the Forum, is nothing but selfishness and greed, adding that equity, justice and fairness doctrines are instruments of political stability.

He said: “We see this as nothing more than greed and selfishness. Presently, the following government-owned tertiary Institutions are located in Ilorin: Kwara State Polytechnic, College of Education, College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, University of Ilorin, KWASU Campus, Kwara State University Teaching Hospital (KWASUTH) and School of Nursing.

“Other reasons why the proposed University of Education should be sited in Kwara South, particularly in College of Education, Oro and not Ilorin have been elucidated in other forums before.

“College of Education, Oro is the only institution of its status with the largest number of functional infrastructural facilities. The College has over 60 buildings and offices which serve as modern lecture rooms, theatres and halls that are conducive and can support learning and teaching activities.”


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