Fashola says MKO would have rejected renaming of UNILAG

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos

The renaming of UNILAG at the last democracy day celebration was done without due process being followed, Fashola said.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos on Wednesday said that late politician and winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola, would have rejected the renaming of the University of Lagos after him, if he were alive.

Mr. Fashola said this in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital, while speaking at a programme organised by the state government to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

He said that Mr. Abiola, the presumed winner of the election, believed in due process and the rule of law, and would have rejected anything done improperly to honour him.

President Goodluck Jonathan had, in his Democracy Day address on May 29, 2012, announced the renaming of the university after Abiola.

The president said that the renaming was in recognition of Mr. Abiola’s contributions to the development of Nigeria’s democracy.

The pronouncement was, however, greeted with protests and litigations challenging its propriety.

Mr. Fashola said: “The name of the institution was changed to MKO`s name without changing the law creating it.

“I venture to argue that MKO will have distanced himself from such an action, if he were alive.

“His firm belief in the judicial process in the law suits he defended and instituted are clear evidence of his commitment to law and order,” the governor said.

He described Mr. Abiola as an epitome of fairness and generosity, saying that he lived most of his life championing the cause of the people.

The governor said that the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election was a sore point in the nation`s political history.

He said that Nigeria should learn some lessons from it to strengthen its electoral system. He also urged Nigerians to address the challenges of the country`s democracy.

The governor said that Mr. Abiola was a hero of democracy and a source of inspiration for those in pursuit of democratic ideals.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Occasion, Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu (rtd), said that Nigeria`s democracy would be a model if the citizens showed commitment to its growth.

Mr. Kanu said that if Nigeria could hold an election adjudged free and fair in 1993, it should be able to have a strong electoral system.

Some Federal and Lagos State lawmakers, members of the state executive council, civil society groups and others were at the occasion.

(NAN)


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