Today is Democracy Day in Nigeria and many woke up to listen to the President's Democracy Day's Speech with the hope (I guess) that the President will announce the reduction of fuel pump price but none of such issue was raised. The speech went on till the President began talking about the late businessman and politician, M.K.O. Abiola who died in detention in the 1998.
The Yoruba's as well as other Nigerians consider Abiola a martyr when it comes to democracy with respect to military rule and because (subjectively) the President intends to win the votes of the Afeniferes come 2015, he took a myopic decision without due consultation which has caused a level of civil disobedience staged in the Yaba area of Lagos.
Dr. GEJ, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria decided to immortalize the late politician after several sites have been named after him by his Afenifere siblings. This he did by re-naming the University of Lagos, Akoka, a colossus after M.K.O. What this means is that Unilag as it is often called will now be known as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos (MAU).
The University of Lagos was established by an act of Federal Parliament in April 1962, with a legacy of excellence, it has served as an instrument in producing top notch graduates and academia who have had tremendous impact directly/indirectly in the country's growth and development. Some months earlier, the University celebrated her Jubilee Anniversary and as I write, the same is mourning the vice chancellor who died in active service when the bomb shell was dropped the President this morning. The move to re-name the University has left several questions in my mind.
To start with, what is the rationale behind Mr President's decision? Several locations have been named after MKO. Why include Unilag? What is MKO's contribute to Nigeria as far as education is involved? I am yet to read about the project. Isn't there a state government polytechnic named after MKO? Re-naming the University of Lagos, a Federal Institution after MKO makes it sounds (to me) like there exist an advanced MKO Poly. Which one of the Presidents in the USA have woken up one morning to immortalize a politician or businessman by re-naming a prestigious University? For the fact that we want to be creative, would that urge us to re-name a brand that has stood the test of time for 50 years without due process? What will be the fate of persons like me (during interviews) who's first degree carries the name, logo and seal of the University of Lagos and now of these tend to change? Will this not amount to giving a fresh explanation about the change of Identity in other for me not to appear a liar?
With all due respect Mr. President, I support the several others who are against the change the University's name.