- His intention is wrong —Pat Utomi
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the renaming of the University of Lagos, UNILAG to Moshood Abiola University, MAU, following President Goodluck Jonathan’s democracy speech that the school will no longer be called UNILAG.
Nigerians especially the school authorities, ASUU members, academic and non academic staff, students and alumnus members have condemned the renaming of school saying that it will no longer be business as usual.
Reasons for their condemnation also include that the renaming of the school is capable of reducing the reputation of the institution adding the school which has not only survived by creating a brand name for itself even in the global world but it has been able to compete with other international institutions.
One of the people who have condemned the development is Prof. Pat Utomi. In his reaction, he said, if president Jonathan will truly want to immortalise late chief Moshood Abiola, it should have been tailored towards his outstanding achievement which is more pronounced in politics and business world.
His word: “My reaction is simple. There is no problem in honouring Abiola which many of us have been craving for a longtime. But, I think it should have followed a due process. It is not very wise to rename an institution that has been built for a longtime and sacrifice it at the altar of political exigencies. The cost of reputation that will disappear should be considered.
“If the president wants to name a prestigious university after Abiola, I think, the federal university of agriculture, Abeokuta should be considered. I think it is not a wise decision. The result of his intention has been negative.”
He opined that the development will not only reduce the school’s reputation but is capable of making many people lose connection. The brand image of UNILAG which also is the reputation.
Asked if the renaming of the school is not capable of boosting the reputation of the school, he said, “I don’t think his larger than life image is associated with education. If it is the business department of the institution that he has renamed, that will speak volume, but I expect the president to change his mind and reverse the name which is the wise step to take.”