Thursday, May 31, 2012

FG Insists that University of Lagos would be Moshood Abiola University – What Next for UNILAG Students?

With the Federal Government’s announcement yesterday that there would be no going back on the decision to rename University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University, what’s next for the students and stakeholders of the institution?
The Federal Government through the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku has said that it will not revert its decision of renaming University of Lagos after Chief M.K.O Abiola. Despite protests from the students and staff of the institution, Maku

said there would be no going back on the decision to rename University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University in honour of the late winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Addressing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday, the Minister said the President’s proclamation was in response to the outcry of concerned Nigerians who have been clamoring for the immortalization of late Abiola. He called on Nigerians not to allow the protests by some students to overshadow the significance of the president’s decision to immortalize Abiola.
“Yes sometimes government decisions get reactions from the populace, we do not as an administration see this as a disapproval. We just see it as a normal way in every democracy that when you make major decisions definitely sometimes you have public reaction but we should not allow the protest to overshadow the national significance of what Mr. President has done.”
He added that the decision has been long overdue and that today, Abiola can turn in his grave and say this nation for whom I made a supreme sacrifice for political development has recognized my contributions.
“It is our hope that reason will prevail and that the decision to honor one of our nations’s icons and heroes will be appreciated by all Nigerians including our youths and students who are the future leaders of this country” he said.
With this hard held stance of the Federal Government against the reversal of the President’s decision, it is wondered whether the protests are not just in vain.
The University was shut down yesterday following protests by students, staff and alumni of the institution. They blocked major roads in Lagos including the Third Mainland Bridge, calling on the Federal Government to reverse the announcement made by President Goodluck Jonathan on Democracy Day. Their resistance, along with that of other individuals and groups in the country have emphasized that most Nigerians are not in agreement with the President’s announcement.
What options do the students and stakeholders of University of Lagos then have? Do they just accept the new name or continue fighting against the name change? Are there any legal means they can use to oppose the name change? What next?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Channels TV | Vanguard

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