By Hanson Chidozie
The decision of Federal Government to rename the Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi state after Dr Alex Ekwueme, has been commended by the state governor, David Umahi.
Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, announced the renaming on Friday at Oko, Anambra State during the burial of Ekwueme, who was Vice-President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983.
Osinbajo said the renaming has already been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, who said Ekwueme was being honoured for his contributions to national development.
Gov Umahi described it as a welcome development and part of his administration educational policy.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, the governor commended the federal government for appreciating his educational policy and rewarding same by renaming a federal government university in the state after a sage and former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme.
He said that his administration has been at the forefront for Igbo integration into the national politics, where Ndigbo would be fully recognized 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 detribalized Nigerian who committed everything towards the development of democracy in the country.
Ekwueme who died late last year was buried on Friday at Oko, his hometown. He ran for President several times 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 run as life president. G-34 metamorphosed into the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which took over power in 1999 when the present republic was inaugurated.
A well-educated person, the late 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.