FUTA: alumni kick against renaming the institution after Shagari.

AMBALI ABDULAFEEZ.

The alumni of the  Federal University of Technology,Akure has gone against the move to rename the institution after the late former president of Nigeria, Sheu Shagari as it may dent the institution’s brand.

It was moved that one of the federal universities founded during his administration between 1979 and 1983 be named after him.

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The president of the FUTA Alumni Association,Olaitan Adesomoju,while speaking with journalists on Wednesday,appealed to the Federal Government to ignore the suggestion of immortalising Sheu Shagari by renaming FUTA after him.

The FUTA alumni president made it known that the name FUTA has created an international brand for the institution over the year and if the name is changed,there will be more harm to the school than the intended good.

He also said that the Federal Government should focus on how to uplift the infrastructure and academic advancement of the institution and that one other institution,out of the institutions founded during Shagari regim should be named after him.

The alumni president said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), in his tribute to the late Alhaji Shehu Shagari with the title ‘’Name Federal University of Technology, Akure after Shagari ‘ published in several National daily newspapers.

“We, the entire members of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) Alumni Association worldwide, view this as a personal opinion or a mere suggestion from Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), whom most of us refer to as a father.

“After extensive consultation and discussions with alumni members globally, we wish to state clearly that the overwhelming majority vehemently oppose any name change to our great alma mater.

“It is of note that the Federal University of Technology, Akure was not the only University established by an act of parliament during Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s regime, at least six other Federal University of Technology were established. Furthermore, FUTA is an established professional brand that is globally respected for technological innovations.

“FUTA has also developed several domestic and international collaborations with other leading institutions. These advances and relationship would be marred in an identity crisis by changing its established brand name on the whim of an individual.

“Evidence abounds that previous name changes for purposes of immortalization have done a lot of damage to institutions of higher learning than good and there is nowhere in the world that institutions of higher learning over five years old are abruptly renamed after the demise of a leader. For example, Harvard and Oxford have kept the same name since their creation and establishment; these brands are globally respected and identifiable.”

He,therefore,advised that the Federal Government to build standard science laboratories or lecture halls and then named them after Alh. Sheu Shagari.

“This will help resolve some of the challenges we have on our campus rather than compounding them with a name change. We hereby plead with the Federal Government to allow the brand ‘FUTA’ to remain in the name of posterity and peace,” Adesomoju implored.

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