[NUOS Intl] Govt names streets Saro-Wiwa, Dele Giwa, Fela and others

KORNEBARI NWIKE klgnwike at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 23 19:10:46 EDT 2008

This is indeed a remarkable development although not enough. I have personnaly questioned the judgement of the Rivers State Lawmakers for allowing a street to be named after Gen.Sani Abacha in Port-Harcourt, whilst iconic figures like KenSaro Wiwa is silencely sidetracted. I hope the Rivers State House of Assembly would follow the footsteps of the Federal Government on renaming streets in Port-Harcourt also. 
Of particular interest, i pray, when such exercise is carried out, Gen. Sani Abacha street would be renamed.
KorneBari Nwike

From: gobari25 at hotmail.comTo: friends at lists.mayfirst.orgDate: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 02:45:32 +0000Subject: [NUOS Intl] Govt names streets Saro-Wiwa, Dele Giwa, Fela and others

Govt names streets after Fela, Saro-Wiwa, Dele Giwa, othersFrom Martins Oloja, Abuja Bureau Chief THEIR exploits in their chosen fields were or are still monumental. Some of them have been recognised for their contributions but majority of them remained unsung until now. 
There is a major rethink by the Federal Government, which has named major streets and roads in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a symbol of Nigerias unity, after these eminent citizens, who are often regarded as the nation's "forgotten icons." 
A striking feature of the list of beneficiaries of the government's action is the inclusion of some Nigerians who were even executed by the Nigerian state in questionable circumstances. 
The move came after 32 years of complicated and indiscriminate naming of streets in the nation's capital after mostly elements, peoples, places and events that are generally unrelated to Nigeria and the continent. 
In a comprehensive policy review to be unveiled by the government soon, literary giants, political leaders, famous journalists, notable religious and labour leaders, some living and others dead, have been immortalised. 
Among them are Professors Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, Mamman Shata, Sonny Okosuns, Babatunde Jose, Dele Giwa, Abubakar Imam, Ali Ciroma, Pa Michael Imoudu. 
In the master list obtained by The Guardian at the weekend, about 200 streets will be renamed in an exercise that will affect the following districts in the FCT. They are Maitama and Bunkoro Districts, (Gwarimpa 11) Life Camp (Gwarimpa1), Gudu (Apo Legislators' Quarters) and Asokoro. 
In the special recognition cadre are the Abuja Airport Road, to be named after President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and the multi-District Arterial Road formerly coded S20 after Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. 
Another Multi-District Arterial Road (such as Obafemi Awolowo Road covering Utako, Jabi among others would be named after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. In the justification column of the list, it is written that "no street has been named after him." 
Also, former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will have a street in Asokoro named after her. She had earlier been in Utako District but now a street/close near the World Bank building in Asokoro earlier named after the late Egyptian President Gamal Nasser will be changed to her name. In the justification column, the committee handling the exercise, noted "proximity to the World Bank" while in the executive summary, the panel wrote: 
"It is in special recognition of the contributions of the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the economic reforms in 2003-2007. There is need to name a befitting street after her in Asokoro, which is usually named after freedom fighters and renowned Africans. Thus the existing Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Street will be renamed after one of the former Ministers of FCT, the late Maj.-Gen. Mamman Vatsa." 
In the same executive summary, the 11-man committee which the FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, set up for the exercise, explained that "...193 streets recommended to be renamed in the first phase of renaming streets in the Federal Capital City, Abuja is in conformity with the reviewed criteria, which emphasise relevance and current reality as Abuja transforms into one of the modern cities in Africa and indeed the world." 
The committee said that "in conducting the exercise, it considered the following: 

Relevance of the existing names of streets in Maitama, Gudu-Apo and Jabi/Utako vis-?-vis current realities. In Maitama, over 193 streets in the districts are named after water bodies in Europe and America while a few have African names. Maitama A05 is proposed to be named after hills and rock formations in view of its proximity to the Aso Rock, while Maitama A06 will be named after rivers and water bodies. 

Renaming of streets and roads in Gudu Street especially the Apo Legislators' Quarters to reflect Nigeria's democratic dispensation as the area accommodates the top class in Nigeria's legislature, both past and present. At present, the official residences of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are located in the area. 

In conformity with the existing criteria, which recommend that ring roads and expressways are to be named after Nigerian Presidents, the present Airport Road is recommended to be renamed Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Way while the S20, an Arterial, which runs the Sector Centres in Phase 11 is recommended to be renamed as Goodluck Jonathan Way. In the special recognition for top literary icons, besides Soyinka and Achebe, who will be honoured in Gwarimpa, other notables listed for the district include the late Prof. Chike Obi, a renowned mathematician, who passed on earlier this year, former Education Minister, Prof. Aliyu Babs Fafunwa, Isaac Adaka Boro, a famous freedom fighter of the Niger Delta cause, Kanu Nwankwo, a football star and Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, a popular woman leader who passed on in 2006. 
Others to be honoured (some post-humously) in Gwarimpa Bunkoro District include some religious leaders such as Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who would have the first Avenue named after him; Francis Cardinal Arinze of the Vatican, Alhaji Abdulwahab Folawiyo, Sheikh, Al Miskin, Sheikh Nasiru Kabara, Sheikh Ismaila Idris, Sheikh Abu Fatah, the late Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, Sheik Dahiru Bauchi and Alhaji Sulu Gambari, the late Emir of Ilorin. 
There are also Hajiya Gambo Sawaba, Prof. Claude Ake, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Mamman Shata, Bishop David Oyedepo, Founding Bishop of the Living Faith Church World Outreach (aka Winners' Chapel). 
Some artistes and educationists who made the list include the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Prof. Umaru Shehu, Samuel Okwaraji, Sonny Okosuns, Dele Giwa, Dr. Tai Solarin, Prof. Ishaya Audu, Saadu Zungur, Rev. G.G Ganaka and Bob Marley. 
The comprehensive list in Gwarimpa that has never been named after anybody parades other notable personalities, such as the labour leaders: the late Pa Michael Imoudu, Ali Ciroma and Hassan Sunmonu. 
The panel also recognised Technical Team members of the Abuja Master Plan in the honours' list. The beneficiaries are Kenzo Tange, a foreigner and Head Technical Team Abuja Master Plan, Oluwole Olumuyiwa (member), Umar Garba Benna, Susan Adoba, E.A.D Nsiegbe, T.M Aluko, Justice Owen Feibai, C.O Aimola, Bawa Bwari, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Shuaibu Gani, M.O Oyawoye, T. Mohammed and I. Igbiehon. 
Apart from Dele Giwa, other media personalities to be honoured include the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose and Malam Turi Muhammed. 
Sources at the FCT minister's office told The Guardian last night that more beneficiaries would soon be announced. 


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