President Muhammadu Buhari has renamed the Federal University, Ikwo, in Ebonyi State after the late former Vice President Alex Ekwueme.
The president, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, announced the renaming yesterday at Oko, Anambra State, during Ekwueme’s burial.
The late politician was Nigeria’s vice president between 1979 and 1983.
Osinbajo said the renaming had already been approved by President Buhari, who said Ekwueme was being honoured for his contributions to national development.
Ekwueme, who died late last year, was buried yesterday at Oko, his hometown.
He unsuccessfully ran for presdent twice but was particularly credited with the idea of the creation of six geopolitical zones in Nigeria when he was a member of the National Constitutional Conference in 2005 during the regime of General Sani Abacha.
He confronted Abacha with the formation of the G-34, when the late dictator tried to transform himself into a life president.
The G-34 metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which took over power in 1999 when the present republic was inaugurated.
A well educated person, Ekwueme trained and qualified as an architect, a sociologist and a lawyer. He attended the prestigious Kings College, Lagos, before travelling abroad to pursue university education. He founded the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and set up a foundation that offered thousands of scholarships to people from the Old Aguata region.
However, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, while reacting to the development, described it as a welcome development and part of his administration’s educational policy.
Governor Umahi, in a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, commended the federal government for appreciating his educational policy and rewarding same by renaming a federal university in the state after a sage, Dr Ekwueme.
He said that his administration had been at the forefront of Igbo integration into the national politics where Ndigbo would be fully recognised as part of the development of Nigeria.
The governor, who is also the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, also described the late Ekwueme as a detribalised Nigerian who committed everything towards the development of democracy in Nigeria.
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