Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Thursday explained the role played by late Professor of History, Ade Ajayi in the renaming of University of Lagos (UNILAG) after late Chief Moshood Abiola.
Fayemi spoke at a commendation service organised in honour of the 85 year-old late Professor in Ado-Ekiti.
The Federal Government takes steps to rename UNILAG after late businessman, M.K.O. Abiola.
Ajayi’s passion for history and preservation of monuments made him to write a personal letter to President Goodluck Jonathan as a former UNILAG Vice-Chancellor.
Fayemi said that the former vice-chancellor alternatively asked Jonathan to look for a better way of immortalising late MKO Abiola, rather than tampering with the name, “University of Lagos.”
Fayemi quoted late Ajayi as telling the President that, “Nigeria is passing through a turbulent period at times like this.
“With a sense of history, institutional memory and continuty are important to help restores stability.
“University of Lagos is an important parts of our institutional history.
“I therefore urge you to restore its founding name and consider a more meaning and befitting way in which to pay tribute to Chief MKO Abiola.”
According to the governor, “Such was keen sense of history and responsibility, it is no surprise that with such weighty intervention, Mr President had to rescind his decision.”
Fayemi described the late Ajayi as a big believer in Nigeria possibilities.
He said that though, he was never a student in Ajayi’s classroom when he was a student at UniLag, “most of those that taught me were taught by him.”
The Unilag Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adisa Bello, in his tribute described late Ajayi as an architect of modern Unilag.
He said, “most of the present day structures at the institution were built by him when he was the 3rd VC between 1972-1978.”
Earlier in a sermon at the service, the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese of Anglican Church, Most Rev. Christopher Omotunde commended the outstanding scholarship exhibited by Ajayi during his life time.
He said that Ajayi’s outstanding trait was part of what made him to earn Phd at 29.
The bishop, who was represented by the Vicar of St. Peters Anglican Church, Oke-Ila, Ado-Ekiti, Ven. Olu Ibitoye described late Ade Ajayi as a detribalised Nigerian.
He said Ajayi used his influence to make people under him rise beyond his own level.