Students of the Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), now Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), have expressed divergent views on the renaming of the university after the former Vice President of the country, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
Federal Government, had, during Ekwueme’s burial, renamed FUNAI after the former Second Republic Vice President, but students of the institution have expressed mixed feelings.
While some of them condemned the renaming of the school, others hailed the development.
One of the students identified simply as Emmanuel, said: “Former President, Goodluck Jonathan renamed UNILAG to Moshood Abiola University of Lagos in honour of late MKO Abiola. This became a subject of litigation and protests from students and alumni of the institution, while a court finally ruled that the change was illegal.”
According to him, like the renaming of UNILAG, the change of FUNAI was a fundamental contradiction.
But Chijioke Daniel of the Faculty of Humanities of the university said he received the renaming of the school after Alex Ekwueme with joy.
“I don’t see anything wrong with the renaming of FUNAI after such a man of dignity, honour and integrity. We have mounted bill boards in some strategic locations on this renaming of the school to indicate that the school has accepted it,” Daniel stated.
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba said the late Ekwueme contributed to the creation and development of Ebonyi State, describing him as a true Igbo son.
“In my university FUNAI, we love the acronym and the sound. We truly love FUNAI and the sound of the name. We also love our anthem, and at least, two other songs about FUNAI. Unlike other Federal universities named after persons, ours is the only one with the word Federal retained.
“As announced by the Vice-President today at Oko; ABU, OAU, NAU and MAUTECH, are all Federal but do not have that in their name. We still have our beloved FUNAI, with AE added in front. Our anthem and all our songs remain as we sing them with AE-FUNAI.
“But all this is beyond such level of commentary. Our university has as name a man and a legacy we truly can be proud of, and I dare say, well ahead any other. We should please be at peace with this, if we truly understand and be excited.”