The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze, has asked the Presidency to jettison the suggestion of renaming the University of Nigeria Nsukka to Queen Elizabeth University of Nigeria.
The group said the move could be best for Aso Rock Abuja or other parts of the North.
This was as it stressed that the former presidential aspirant of the Young Progressives Party, Adamu Garba, must tender an apology to Ndigbo for making such an un-historical remark.
Garba, on Friday, advised the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to immortalise Queen Elizabeth who died, on Thursday, aged 96, by renaming the UNN after her.
But reacting, the Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said such remark was capable of instigating conflict in the country.
According to the statement, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has cautioned the Federal Government against renaming the foremost and most prestigious University, the University of Nigeria Nsukka after the late British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
“The University has bequeathed a legacy in Southeastern Nigeria and it’s worthwhile for novices like the former APC Presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba to know that the Federal Medical Center Umuahia, Abia State was renamed after the late British monarch, and is known as Queen Elizabeth Medical Center Umuahia, yet Nigerians are yet to see the late Queen Elizabeth’s legacies in Northern Nigeria. It’s appropriate for the North to have a fair share of the Queen’s legacy.
Ndigbo was instrumental and played a role in hosting late Queen Elizabeth II, in 1956 when Nigeria hosted the late Queen. It has not skipped our memories about the assistance rendered by an Igbo wealthy business Mogul, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu when Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956.
The then Nigerian Government couldn’t afford a Rolls-Royce, so it approached and borrowed this Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith LWB, from Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, the father of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Igbo legendary icon.
“If the Federal Government and the presidency wish to immortalise late Queen Elizabeth II, it should look at the role of the Queen in granting Nigeria political freedom and independence on 1st October 1960. And the most appropriate place to show gratitude to Great Britain should be at Aso Rock, (the Citadel of Power).
“So, we call on Federal Government to rename the Aso Rock Presidential Villa after Queen Elizabeth II. This is the best place to honour Queen Elizabeth II, not the University of Nigeria Nsukka because it’s incendiary to destroy the symbol of Nigeria’s Citadel of Learning. We urge Adamu Garba to apologise to Ndigbo over this un-historical comment.”