The College of Education, Ekiadolor, recently upgraded to a university status, has been renamed by the Edo State Government to Tayo Akpata University of Education, TAUE, in honour of a former Commissioner for Education in the defunct Bendel State, Chief Tayo Akpata.
Chief Akpata passed on peacefully at his Ikoyi, Lagos residence on the 13th of October, 2014 at the age of 83.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole made the announcement on Friday during the funeral service of the late elder statesman at the Central Baptist Church, Benin.
The governor explained that the state government’s decision was based on the deceased’s enormous contributions to the development of the state.
He said that the renaming of the university would serve as an inspiration to youths, whom he advised to emulate the virtues of the late Akpata, who was also a one-time Executive Secretary of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund and the first Chairman of the National Youth Service Corps (Mid-West State) in 1975.
Oshiomhole 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”.
Mr. Oshiomhole 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”.