UNILAG Students Protest Against the Institution’s Renaming

University of Lagos students have taken to the streets to protest the renaming of the school by President Goodluck Jonathan; an announcement  made by the president early hours of this morning the 29th of  May 2012, during the Democracy Day broadcast.

The institution would be renamed as Moshood Abiola University in honour of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Chief MKO Abiola. He said

“The Federal Government has decided that late Chief MKO Abiola should be honoured. In honour of Chief MKO Abiola, the University of Lagos is renamed the Moshood Abiola University.”

This new development did not go down well with students of UNILAG as they soon  expressed their displeasure in a united match which started with a gathering at the Yabatech junction and soon after a full blown protest was initiated, with the students chanting protest songs and denouncing the change of the institution’s name.

The protest soon after escalated, with students carrying placards with inscriptions:

Reverse or Resign, UNILAG can not be called MAU! etc.

They also blocked access to the institution and disrupted traffic on University of Lagos Road and St. Finbarrs’ College Road.

The school Officials were hopeless in resolving/calming the matter; they begged the students to go back to campus saying,

“We are with you.”

But the students shouted

“NO”.

The chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos branch, Dr Karo Ogbinaka, has said that the union will resist the recent change of the university’s name.

Dr Ogbinaka said:

We are resisting it, all the unions and the students will resist it, the Alunmus will resist it. The truth about the whole thing is that it shows the level of intelligence of those people in government. Nobody will change Harvard’s name, nobody will change Cambridge’s name to Winston Churchill University. University of Lagos is a brand, for 50 years. The first university established by Act of Parliament and one man trying to score cheap political point. When people go outside and you ask them what university are you from? What name will you pronounce? They’ll ask is it a new university? Is it the name of a toothpaste? It’s a senseless thing and are going to resist it.

Here are some pictures from the protest.

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Ugo is an author at www.gistus.com.
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