Following the call to rename the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), after the late Shehu Shagari, the alumni of the university have kicked against the call, adding that it will ruin the brand of the institution.
Punch News reports that there had been calls from some quarters that the former president be immortalized by naming one of the federal universities established during his administration between 1979 to 1983.
The President of the Alumni Association of FUTA who spoke with men of the press on Wednesday, Olaitan Adesomoju, appealed to the FG to disregard the opinion that Shagari be immortalized by renaming FUTA after him.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), in his tribute to the late Shehu Shagari with the title, ‘Name Federal University of Technology, Akure, after Shagari’ published in several national newspapers.
“We, the entire members of the 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 discussion with alumni members globally, we wish to state clearly that the overwhelming majority vehemently opposed any name change to our great alma mater.
“It is of note that FUTA was not the only university established by act of parliament during Shagari’s regime; at least, six other federal universities 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 whims of an individual.
“Evidence abound 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 stated.