UNILAG Alumni Asks National Assembly To Disregard Bill To Rename The University of Lagos To Moshood Abiola University (MAULAG)

The Alumni association of the University of Lagos has urged the National assembly to disregard the bill sent by Goodluck Jonathan to change the name of the University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.

President Goodluck Jonathan announced the name change on democracy day May 29th, 2012 during his address to the nation. His decision to rename the University of Lagos after MKO Abiola the winner of the 1993 elections was hailed by some but sparked a huge protest in the University of Lagos with students angrily opposing the change of their institutions name.

National President, University of Lagos Alumni Association, Prof. Olaide Abbas, says President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to send a bill to the National Assembly seeking legal backing for renaming UNILAG after his pronouncement is “an admittance of error.”

In his May 29 nationwide breadcast, Jonathan said the government had decided to change UNILAG to Moshood Abiola University in honour of the late MKO Abiola for his contribution to democracy in the country.

Abbas called on the members of the National Assembly to throw out the bill, saying the President’s action was tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.

The don,in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, said the National Assembly should not be a rubber-stamp of the Presidency.

He said, “The late MKO Abiola had a history. UNILAG has its own history but the President should not use one history to destroy another. So, it is not a question of sending the bill to the National Assembly, it is a question of owning up to your error

The National Assembly should not be a rubber-stamp. What he has done can be likened to issuing a decree like a military dictator and later come back to seek the approval of the members of the Supreme Military Council.”

Also, a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, called on members of the National Assembly to throw out bill.

He said, “The President as a democratic President ought to have allowed his action to be guided by the fundamentals of democracy, that is due process, rule of law, constitutionalism, transparency and accountability. For him to have changed the name of the UNILAG unilaterally and thereby throwing the nation into protest showed that he is anti-democracy.”

But the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun, has urged the opposition parties in the country not to crucify Jonathan over the renaming UNILAG.

Describing President Jonathan’s manoeuvre as being reminiscent of Nigeria’s military era, the lawmaker said no retroactive law must be allowed to come into being under the current dispensation.

He said, “Now, it shows that the executive arm has not outlived the military practice whereby they make a pronouncement and back it up with a decree. We are now in a democracy. What is more is that we have just celebrated 14 years of democracy and it is happening when people are going to court and more are gearing up to do so.

Source: Punch Newspaper

3 Comments

  • Can, some one tell me. Why renaming a certain institution by government any reason to riot. I cant understand. There are so many to riot for , I mean there is enough rot in the government that can be changed by mass protest. How does please how does renaming unilag make it less effective. I would be more inclined to join a protest for more accountability in government. Lack of reliable power supply etc. Obviously not for non important issues like change of a school name.

  • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLEASE HELP ALL NIGERIANS INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING TO RESPOND POSITIVELY TO THE YARNING OF UNILARGE ALUMNI. THERE ARE MANY PROBLEMS TO BE ATTENDED TO IN NIGERIA. TO BE CANDID, NIGERIA GOVERNMENT NEED TO HONOUR CHIEF MASHOOD ABIOLA , IF THE ALUMNI OF THE UNIVERSITY SAID THEY WANT THE NAME OF THEIR UNIVERSITY TO REMAIN UNCHANGEABLE THEY ARE RIGHT INDEED. NIGERIA GOVERNMENT SHOULD USE THEIR INITIATIVE IN ANOTHER DIMENSIONS , MAY BE IN BUSINESS ARENA AS A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MAN , OR IN A POLITICAL ARENA AS A MAN WHO CUT ACROSS THE PREVAILING CULTURE AND RELIGION IN THE NATION. PLEASE ALL OF US WHO ARE LOOKING FOR PROGRESS FOR NIGERIA HOME AND AWAY WANT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO GIVE ROOM FOR PEACE ON THAT MATTER….GOD LOVE NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS….

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