Abuja - The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to rename the Ilorin International Airport after Second Republic Senate Leader, Sen. Olusola Saraki.
The Senate also resolved to send a high powered delegation to condole with his family, the government and people of Kwara.
The Senate’s resolution followed a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba and seconded by Sen. Simeon Ajibola (PDP- Kwara) on the demise of Saraki.
Ndoma- Egba noted that Saraki’s negotiating skill helped to achieve the consensus witnessed in the Senate during the Second Republic.
``His negotiating skills made him easily the most powerful individual in the Senate of that Republic.
``His charismatic personality defined the office of the Senate Leader and gave it character.
``Many years after he left office, he remains easily the best and most known Senate Leader
In his contribution, Sen. Abdul Ningi ( PDP- Bauchi) described Saraki’s sense of philanthropy as ``legendary.’’
``I’ve not known any political leader as the Oloye, who developed a capacity for giving.
``I think it would be very difficult to find anybody to replace Saraki in the mind of his people,’’ he said.
Also speaking,Sen. James Manager (PDP- Delta) said Saraki left an indelible footprint that was unmatched in the political history of Nigeria.
``The history of Nigerian politics would not be complete if no mention is made about Oloye.
``He was visibly the most popular politician to have come from that part of the country, ‘’ he added.
Similarly, Sen. Danjuma Goje ( PDP- Gombe) urged Nigerian leaders to emulate his spirit of generosity.
``He used his resources and connections to touch the lives of Kwara people and Nigerians.
“That’s how leaders should live their lives by using their resources to benefit the masses,’’ he said.
Also, Sen. Chris Anyanwu (APGA- Imo) described the late Saraki as a `master negotiator’ whose approach to politics was worthy of emulation by politicians.
``He was one of the most effective politicians with a fine approach to politics. He is a politician that all of us should adopt as a role model.
``He liked to negotiate and douse the tension, thereby making sure there was consensus in the Upper Chamber, ‘’ she said.
Sen. Chris Ngige (ACN- Anambra) said beyond politics, 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.’’
Sen. Sola Adeyeye (ACN- Osun) said he has great respect for Saraki’s exemplary sense of honesty and tolerance.
``Saraki exemplified the truth that there are good people in every part of the country.
``He came from a devout Islamic background but married a Christian woman and did not force her to convert to Islam, ‘’ he stressed.
Sen. Simeon Ajibola (PDP- Kwara) said the late Saraki was a great manager of crises who accorded respect to all persons irrespective of their age.
``He was a great manager of crisis who used his charismatic personality to resolve political and family squabbles.’’
In his tribute, the Senate President, Sen. David Mark said there were many lessons to learn from the life of the late former Senate Leader.
He urged Nigerian leaders to lead lives that would earn them the goodwill of the ordinary people even after they were dead.
``The late Saraki is a man who touched the lives of so many people in this country. The volume of people streaming to Ilorin to pay their respects is unquantifiable.
``It only shows what will happen when you live a good life and die for the interest of the ordinary people.
``He was compassionate, he was simple and he was honest in his dealings.
``If we all live the way Saraki did, the intolerance that we see in this country will be history.
He then named the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba as the leader of a 13-member Senate delegation to condole with the family of the late Saraki.