The long hostilities between incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and his immediate predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole may have been revved dramatically as both men head for another imminent show-down over the decision of the Edo State House of Assembly to re-christen the Edo University, Iyamho.
In a sudden move on Monday, the Edo State House of Assembly re-named the Edo University, Iyamho as Edo State University, Uzairue.
This was sequel to a bill forwarded to the State House of Assembly for an amendment changing the name of the name from Edo University, Iyamho to Edo State University, Uzairue accordingly.
To some discerning observers, this latest development might be a calculated move by forces opposed to Oshionhole politically to erode his legacy projects in Edo state.
With this move, the University’s name would now be Edo State University, Uzairue premised on an amendment bill presented by Governor Obaseki which was passed by the State House of Assembly.
It could not be ascertained as at last night if going by the change in name, the location of the university in Iyamho would be affected as well.
Some stakeholders who spoke with The New Diplomat last night said given the change in name, it is likely that there might be a relocation of operational status to Uzairue.
Recall that the building of the institution was a major legacy of Oshiomhole’s administration. Oshiomhole was said to have taken a direct interest in the project and ensured that the institution had the best of facilities and teaching team.
Moreso the change has triggered heated political discussions with some saying that the Edo state government might want to undermine Oshiomhole’s political standing and profile.
Another group insinuate that it is a carry over of the political war between Obaseki and his erstwhile political godfather, Oshiomhole.
But others maintain that what the state governor, Mr Obaseki has done is to correct an error which the former governor committed in naming the university Iyamho instead of Uzairue which is the compound name for all the sub-groups in the area including Iyamho.
Said an insider: “The university is in the main located in Uzaire and Uzaire is made up of three clans including Iyamho which is the smallest of the three.
“Though all three clans contributed land to the university. And many in the other clans were very unhappy that because other clans were not given a sense of belonging as if only Iyamho contributed the land.
“In the old Bendel, we had similar situation. When late Governor Ambrose Alli established the former Bendel State University it was located in his hometown, Maudo, but it was named after Ekpoma because, Maudo was just a small community compared to Ekpoma which is the bigger community.”
In addition, there is also the implied word State(Edo State University, Uzairue) as opposed the previous name Edo University, Iyamho. The former name connotes that the university belongs to Edo state while the later name implies that it is Edo University, not necessarily owned by the State government.
“I can name a hotel Edo hotel and it’s my personal property. But when I say Edo State hotel, it means it belongs to Edo state.”, a public policy expert declared.