The Edo State Government on Friday renamed the College of Education, Ekiadolor, recently upgraded to a university status, to Tayo Akpata University of Education in honour of a former Commissioner for Education in the defunct Bendel State, Chief Tayo Akpata, a Punch report said.
This was disclosed by Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Benin, Edo state’s capital during the funeral ceremony of the deceased philanthropist at the Central Baptist Church.
The governor said that the development was informed by the many contributions of the Late Akpata in the state, adding that it would serve as an inspiration to youths who he urged to follow the deceased footprints.
He said, “We feel the pain of the loss of our Elder Statesman, a man whose life symbolises the fighting spirit, the resourcefulness, the intellectual capacity of the Edo people. One who has shown that the average Edo person is not contented at looking after himself alone but often is willing to carry the burden of others.
“Often times, Nigerians talk of immortalizing people who are rich in naira. But the greatest wealth in my view is what contribution one has made to the development of his community and there is no question that Chief Tayo Akpata was a shining example of what we all can do individually to make a difference in our community.
“We have reflected and we arrived at a conclusion that the University of Education, Ekiadolor will now be renamed as Tayo Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor. That way, our young ones will recognize that people are immortalized not because they feature in the list of Nigeria’s richest men or women but on account of their rich contributions and the role they play in the lives of very ordinary people.”
He added, “In Akpata was a man who, even outside the shores of this country, was an activist. As a young man he was persuaded by the ideals of the Labour Party in Britain. He didn’t see himself as a foreigner who came for the specific purpose to learn and acquire knowledge but we had a young activist who identified with Labour Party and went out to mobilize and canvass for votes.”