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By Kunle Daramola
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has asked Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, to review the decision to rename the Tai Solarin College of Education.
In July 2021, Abiodun had announced the decision to rename the college after Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.
On November 24, Abiodun formally unveiled the renamed institution as Sikiru Adetona College of Education, Science and Technology (SACOETEC).
Reacting to the development in a statement on Sunday, Falana said while the traditional ruler deserves the honour, renaming the institution amounts to denigrating the record of Tai Solarin, the late foremost educationist.
“It is indisputable that the late Dr. Tai Solarin, the founder of the Mayflower School, Ikenne, contributed immensely to the educational development of Nigeria,” the statement reads.
“In appreciation of the contribution of the late educationist, the Ogun State government rightly named a tertiary institution after him, the Tai-Solarin College of Education, Science and Technology (SACOETEC).
“Surprisingly, the Dapo Abiodun administration has announced its decision to rename the College of Education after a highly respected monarch, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode.
“The decision ought to be jettisoned as the governor has not adduced any reason for denigrating the indelible record of the late foremost educationist.
“However, in view of the contribution of the Awujale to the cultural development of Ogun State and his consistent defence of justice and fair play in the country, the Ogun state government is advised to name an important institution after the monarch.
“The governor does not have to assault the memory of the great Solarin in order to honour the eminent Awujale.
“Besides, the governor should be wary of the historical implications of such a seemingly insensitive decision.
“For the immense contributions that Solarin made to enhance our collective humanity, his memory cannot be honoured enough. Indeed, any country should be proud of the legacies of Tai Solarin and be interested in immortalising him.”