Kayode Ajulo, a rights activist, has commended President Bola Tinubu for renaming the Port Harcourt Airport after Obafemi Awolowo.
“The president has demonstrated that he is following the good and lofty steps of his predecessors and notable Yoruba leaders. In spite of the difference between Awolowo and his successor, Chief Ladoke Akintola, the latter completed the projects initiated by his predecessor, among which were the Cocoa House in Ibadan and OAU in Ife,” stated Mr Ajuwon in a statement on Sunday.
He said Mr Tinubu’s decision to sustain the exercise established by former President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the memories of Mr Awolowo and other notable nationalistic Nigerians.
The president, on June 26, renamed Port Harcourt Airport after the late first premier of the old Western region. Others who benefited included Muhammad Sanusi (Dutse Airport), Chuba Okadigbo (Ebonyi Airport), Brig. Zakari Maimalari (Gombe Airport), and Olumuyiwa Aliu, former president of the Council International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) (Ondo Airport), among others.
Mr Ajulo stressed that renaming the Port Harcourt airport after Mr Awolowo was significant to history.
“This will build a more cohesive relationship between the tribes of Nigeria as witnessed in the naming of Abuja International Airport after the first President of Nigeria and an Igbo man, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe,” the activist-cum-politician noted. “The Lagos international airport in the South was also named after a former head of state and Fulani man, Murtala Muhammed. The location is also a reminder of significant history.”
Mr Ajulo said it was at Port Harcourt that Mr Awolowo, during one of his campaigns, called for equal rights and opportunities for minority groups in Nigeria and foretold that someone from the group would lead the country as president one day.
Similarly, Mr Ajulo described renaming the Akure airport after the Ondo state-born aeronautical engineering and aviation law expert, Olumuyiwa Aliu, as rewarding.