The management of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM) in Benue State on Thursday formally unveiled the new name for the institution as Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University.
BLOGARENA reports that the governing council of the institution unveiled the new signpost in acknowledgment of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari which in 2019 changed the name of the university.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Anande Richard Kimbir, had during that year’s matriculation explained that the Federal Government has changed the name of the institution from Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM) to Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University (JTU).
Kimbir had however noted then that the delay in effecting the change was because an official communication was being awaited to specify the mandate, vision and mission of the university’s new status.
The vice chancellor hinted during the convocation ceremony of the school a fortnight ago about the formal adoption of the new name which suggested to the gathering that the long awaited official documentation was finally done.
Meanwhile, with the development, the expectation is for the school to settle for fresh vision and mission as obtains in conventional universities.
Who is Joseph Sarwuan Tarka?
Joseph Tarka lived between 1932 and 1980. He is of Tiv origin in Benue State, North Central Nigeria.
Born in Igbor, Benue State to the family of Tarka Nanchi and Ikpa Anyam, he is a prominent Nigerian politician in the First Republic and beyond.
He was a former Federal Commissioner for Transport and then Communications under the Yakubu Gowon administration.
He was one of the founding members of the United Middle Belt Congress, a political organization dedicated to protecting and advocating for the country’s Middle Belt.
He attended Native Authority Primary School, Gboko and Katsina Ala Middle School, Katsina Ala.
After completing his education, he became a teacher at Katsina-Ala Middle School before going on for further studies at Bauchi Rural Science School.
He was a member of the Tiv Native Authority Staff Union and of the Northern Teachers Association.
He was among the founding fathers of the Second Republic political party known as the National Party of Nigeria.
He unsuccessfully ran for presidency in the party but later won a senatorial seat to represent Benue East in 1979.
While in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation, a position he held till his death on 30th March 1980, aged 48.
Joseph Tarka University joins Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, ABIA; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, ANAMBRA; Obafemi Awolowo University, OSUN; Ahmadu Bello University, KADUNA; Modibbo Adama University, ADAMAWA; Alex Ekwueme University, EBONYI; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, BAUCHI; Usmanu Dan Fodio University, SOKOTO and FUOYE, EKITI (General Adeyinka Adebayo University, EKITI (undergoing bureaucratic formalities)… as Federal Universities renamed by the Federal Government at different times.