“The Management of the University of Lagos wish to inform all members of the University Community and the general public that the Golden Jubilee Convocation Ceremonies will not hold at the University’s normal Convocation period (January 17 to 19, 2013).”
The above was part of a statement by the Deputy Registrar, Information, University of Lagos, Mr. Oluwatoyin Adegbule, announcing the indefinite postponement of the Institution’s convocation earlier scheduled to take place between Thursday (today) and Saturday.
Though the university did not state any reason for the postponement, it however regretted “any inconvenience this may have caused our stakeholders.” But informationng.com gathers that the development may not be unconnected with President Goodluck Jonathan’s insistence to rename UNILAG as Moshood Abiola University of Lagos (MAULAG) and effect the change in its certificates as a condition for holding the convocation.
informationng.com reports that Jonathan on May 29, 2012, in a nation wide broadcast that shocked not a few, renamed UNILAG after the late Chief Moshood Abiola as a mark of honour for the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
The announcement was greeted by protests, with the students demonstrating, and the alumni association asking a Federal High Court, Lagos to restrain the Federal Government from renaming the institution.
It was further learnt that the university decided to postpone the convocation because the President said he would not attend the convocation except the name change was effected; a move the university has not obliged as it insisted on retaining its name pending the outcome of different suits pending in court.
The postponement became necessary when the institution sent a letter informing the President as the Visitor to the university, about the convocation through the Federal Ministry of Education since last year. Jonathan, it was learnt, told the ministry that UNILAG was not known to him and as such would not honour the invitation.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Rahamon Bello, has since travelled to Abuja to meet with the minister over the issue.
However an official of the school’s Information Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “There is no truth in that. Normally if you pick a date for convocation, you have to send it to the Visitor and the Visitor will confirm if the date is convenient, that is what is happening in this case; it is nothing strange.”