Imo - The Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) on Thursday renamed its International Conference Centre after the former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Celestine Onwuliri.
Onwuliri was one of those aboard the ill-fated DANA air plane which crashed on June 3 in Lagos.
Dr Vita Abba, the Pro-chancellor of the university, announced the decision to rename the centre during Onwuliri’s lying-in state at the institution in Owerri.
The former vice-chancellor was the husband of Prof. Voila Onwuliri, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Abba said that the institution renamed the centre after its 5th substantive vice-chancellor to immortalise him for his invaluable contribution to the university.
In a tribute, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka said that the staff and students of the institution had been in sorrow since his demise.
``Only a year ago, my good friend was fully in charge and piloted the affairs of FUTO which he peacefully and happily handed over to me with a genuine wish for my success in office.
``The death of such a nice, distinguished, brilliant, patriotic, gentle, God-fearing man and world-class academic is a loss of immeasurable magnitude to us all.
``His death speaks volumes of the irony and vanity of life,’’ Asiabaka said.
In his own tribute, Prof Oloyede Ishaq, the Chairman of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities said the death of their former member was a rude shock to them.
Ishaq, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin consoled the family members of the plane crash victim, describing him as humble and sincere.
Present at the occasion were the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Sen. Chris Anwanwu, Onwuliri family members, staff and students of the university, among others.