The ivy league institution on May 15, 2015, conferred Okonjo-Iweala with the degree, stating as¬†part of her citation that “At the World Bank, you made food security a priority and provided policy advice and capital for the world‚Äôs poorest countries. With wisdom, a fierce dedication to doing what is right, and unflagging energy, you have transformed the economic landscape of your nation. We are proud to name you Doctor of Humane Letter”
But close to¬†2000 Nigerians have so far signed an online petition started by a Washington-based Nigerian, Sunday Iwalaiye, urging the¬†Yale¬†to withdraw the honorary degree. The petition is titled, “Withdraw the honorary doctorate degree given to Ngozi Iweala of Nigeria”
According to Iwalaiye, Yale University gave its prestigious Honorary Doctorate Degree to an undeserving Nigerian. In the petition, he maintained that “There is no tangible evidence of any economic development in Nigeria under the leadership of Ngozi Iweala in all reality”.
He added: “Nigeria’s economy is still an oil-dependent economy that is debt and borrowing ridden as well as 100% consuming and importing in nature. Nigeria’s debt profile has risen rapidly under Ngozi Iweala and Nigeria has borrowed over $2 billion in the last four months alone to pay salaries of the federal and state civil servants.
“I am using this social medium to appeal to the board of regents of this prestigious university to withdraw this honorary degree that they awarded to this Nigerian immediately and without any further delay for the sake of posterity”
Calling for more Nigerians to sign the online petition, Iwalaiye said on his Facebook page: “When we eventually reach our target. This petition will be officially delivered to the Yale Corporation, the governing body of the Yale University as the voices of Nigerians from all over the world”