ASUU will resist UNILAG's change of name, says chairman

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

President Goodluck Jonathan, in a nationwide broadcast, Tuesday, to mark this year’s Democracy Day had announced that the 50 year old university will now be known as Moshood Abiola University.

Minutes after the president finished his broadcast, students of the institution took to the streets and social media to protest the decision.

“We are resisting it, all the unions and the students will resist it, the Alunmus will resist it,” Mr. Ogbinaka told PREMIUM TIMES.

“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,” Mr. Ogbinaka said.

“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.”

The university authorities said they were kept in the dark about the change of name.

“The minister of Education was here, the Executive Secretary of NUC (National University Commission) was here, top government functionaries have been coming here,” said Mr. Ogbinaka.

“They never gave any inkling that they were going to change the name of the school.”

The students’ protest, which lasted several hours, blocked all the access roads to and around the university.

Solidarity chants and songs blaming the death of their Vice Chancellor on the president were also sang.

Students displayed placards showing their disdain at changing the name of the university.

A medical student told the crowd that the president “forgot to take his drugs this morning” as students danced in circles and screamed obscenities at the president and the nearby police officers.

More than 10 police patrol vans and dozens of police officers watched from a safe distance.

The funeral ceremony of the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, is scheduled to start on Wednesday with a Special Senate Session at the Senate chamber and later a wake keep at the Multipurpose Hall.

Lying in state and interment would take place the next day.

“We are going to use this befitting burial to protest this,” said Mr. Ogbinaka.

“People will come and we’ll bury our VC and if care is not taken, after the burial of our VC, we’ll storm Lagos.”

 


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  • KenMani

    Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria MKO Abiola really deserves much more. I must commend the President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR, GCON) for renaming the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after MKO Abiola. Notwithstanding, I would also like to appeal to the President to rename the National Stadium Abuja after MKO Abiola. If it would be asking too much to rename these two national monuments after MKO Abiola, then I would like the President to rescind his decision on renaming the University of Lagos after MKO Abiola and let us have only the National Stadium Abuja renamed after MKO Abiola who was widely known as the Pillar of Sports in Africa. It is instructive for us to remember that aside from the June 12 struggle, Abiola remains one of Nigeria’s former Presidents even though he was not sworn in. I had expected that Jonathan should have recognized and declared Abiola’s status as a former President of Nigeria and all the honors befitting of a President which was denied him while he was alive should have been bestowed on him on this occasion and forever. That way the injustice of June 12 would have been substantially righted. MKO Abiola really deserves much more.

    • Bainevaleria

      Ken Mani dude get a life and stop commenting on every post. Unilag probably denied you admission which explains your disdain for the school. You silly people do not understand brand recognition and brand value. Very dull people. No wonder this country cannot grow. Where else can the name of a university be changed without informing its students and staff. Since you love Abiola so much please change your name to moshood. Can’t you see the mischief in bringing Abiolas name into this mess? They should rename Aso Rock or the National Assembly. These are buildings associated with democracy.

    • Sade

      Mr. KenMani,
      How are you doing? I am happy to meet you here again. Remember that we met on he Rev Akinola news blog when your principal President Jonathan was unable to say accept the challenge from Rev Akinola to fight corruption? And I told you that I need a good and well paying job like yours at the presidency. I am here again to beg you to please help me get a job. I want to be like you too. Please help. I have been looking and searching for Pastor Oristejafor to report you, but I have not seen him of recent. Please help me . I need a job at the presidency too. Will you deny a suffering woman like myself? Hope to read from you soon. Thank you my bobo KenMani

    • Odumegwu2009

      Ken,
      You are here again to help President Jonathan. It seems you guys at the presidency are desperate about the 2015 election. Mr. Jonathan is getting ready for the 2015 elections. We can see that. You guys need some votes from the Yorubas . Eh? We will see. You reaaly do not know the Yorubas. This may not help. Thanks so much for your help and well oiled assistance for Mr. Jonathan’s re-election bid.

  • KenMani

    What is special brand about the name University of Lagos? The University of Ife was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University and the heavens did not fall. Or are these protests a subtle way of communicating the Yoruba deep hatred for MKO Abiola which confirms IBB’s claim that the Yoruba’s forced him to annul the June 12 Presidential election won convincingly by MKO Abiola. What is even more laughable is that the so called UNILAG ASUU Chairman cites the example of Harvard in the US as their reason for the rejection. I would like him to tell me if we have SNOW in Nigeria as they have in the US. The point is that our operating environment, circumstances and situation are not the same with that of the US. And must we always do things only if such things will be done the same way in the US. I will urge that what all democracy loving people all over the world should be thinking about now is how to make Moshood Abiola University (formerly University of Lagos) the best University in the world. That way the honor done to MKO Abiola today would be further entrenched. The only permanent in life is change. Methinks, it is wrong to resist change of this kind.

    • Sebootimo

      Ken,
      Dis your master’s bribe no go work now. You think say people cheap like dat? Una dey look for vote desperately for 2015 abi? Na wao. Sebi una talk say una no go contest. The election don begin be dat? Na wao KenMani.

    • Adeyemi234

      Since we all know that Mr. KenMani is one of the media spokespersons of Mr. Jonathan(the other one is the ConcernedNigerian), this is good. It shows Mr. Jonathan reveals his crude tactics enough. People should ignore Mr. Jonathan through his media spokespersons. This is because KenMani hit the online platform immediately a news item is uploaded. Anyone is surprised that a useless govt at home is said to make the Time Magazine most influential men? How can a Mr. Jonathan be part of that? TIME magazine was deceived by this kind of KenMani and ConcernedNIgerian entries. It is very easy to deceive magazines such as TIME in that kind of exercise. It is a matter of asking for an online vote. And what will happen ? All the (i) KenManis and (ii) ConcerNigerians located in the presidency will vote online a million times. That is all. So ignore KenMani. The game is up.

  • KenMani

    What is special brand about the name University of Lagos? The University of Ife was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University and the heavens did not fall. Or are these protests a subtle way of communicating the Yoruba deep hatred for MKO Abiola which confirms IBB’s claim that the Yoruba’s forced him to annul the June 12 Presidential election won convincingly by MKO Abiola. What is even more laughable is that the so called UNILAG ASUU Chairman cites the example of Harvard in the US as their reason for the rejection. I would like him to tell me if we have SNOW in Nigeria as they have in the US. The point is that our operating environment, circumstances and situation are not the same with that of the US. And must we always do things only if such things will be done the same way in the US. I will urge that what all democracy loving people all over the world should be thinking about now is how to make Moshood Abiola University (formerly University of Lagos) the best University in the world. That way the honor done to MKO Abiola today would be further entrenched. The only thing permanent in life is change. Methinks, it is wrong to resist change of this kind.

    • Kehindeodunran

      Why change a universally recognised brand name to a Boko Harem sounding name ?

  • Sule

    ASUU to note that you will have the support of all YORUBA people to go to court and challenge the name change. YORUBA people are not cheap, we are not a confused people, we are not drunken fishermen and fisherwomen. GEJ should have renamed the stadium in Abuja after MKO. I’m sure Abiola’s children will reject this greek gift. We are waiting for the reaction of YORUBA political leaders.

  • Thosesecrets

    It seems the Federal Government has gone real mad. What an insolence. Is that the way to tackle Boko Haram? I bet NO.

  • Lanre

    ASUU never sees anything good in whatever any government does anyways. So I am not surprised. But as someone who is very close to that community and the principal individuals in this whole saga (i.e June 12 and M.K.O. Abiola). I ask ASUU, to rethink its move. You guys need to focus on improving student access to better, quality education and the ability of university professors to get adequate funding. This positive name change is the right thing and a protest right now is a non-starter.

  • KenMani

    Jonathan, thank you but UNILAG is too little, too small for MKO Abiola but an appreciable first step. Once again, thank you. Four things more things need to be done urgently without further delay. Firstly, prosecute and put IBB in jail for annulling the June 12 election no matter his excuse. Secondly, the National Stadium Abuja should also be renamed after MKO Abiola. Thirdly, the sum of N1 Billion (Onebillion Naira only) should be paid as a token to his family after all Yusuf the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani Boko Haram murderer and criminal was paid over N100million. Fourthly, officially declare the result of the June 12 and recognize the victory of MKO Abiola and his status, even though posthumously, as a former President and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thereafter all national honors and benefits due to former Presidents should be extended to him. Then and only then will I acknowledge that justice even though belated have been done. Once again, thank you for the highly commendable and courageous first step of renaming University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.

    • Odumegwu2009

      KenMani,
      Since this is a bribe and since June 12 is a national issue, I think we should name Univerities of Protharcourt and Calabar after Moshood Abiola. What do you think.?

      • KenMani

        I am not thinking of renaming University of Port Harcourt or University of Calabar. I am only praying that someday Aso Rock will be renamed Major Gideon Orkar Forte while the National Assembly Complex will be renamed Ken Saro-Wiwa Complex.

    • Sade

      Oga KenMani,
      Ah you have not answered me since two days ago. Will you turn down a job request from a woman? I know you work at the presidency. I know you can get me a job like yours. I need money too. I want to drive sleek cars like you in Abuja. Please Oga kenMani help ooo. I am still looking for Pastor Oritsejafor’s address (I hear the Pastor can be reached through the presidency too) so that I report you if you do not answer me quick quick. I will continue to search for Pastor Oristejafor and plead with you to help me. Sorry ooo Oga KenMani that I am making this private thing public. It is about job you see. My children do not even attend private school like the children of you people. My children are not abroad in America, Europe and now China like the children of you people. But at least a job will do me eh.
      Thanks ooo I beg.

      • KenMani

        It is very clear from your name that you are not from the Niger Delta. Your people have just finished their eight 8years on the Rock. It is our turn now. Please wait for your turn.

  • Tobie

    Mr Ken(i)Mani (literally translated ‘selfish man’ in Yoruba)
    While I am not against the name change, please, be careful in your comparisons. OAU was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University in 1987 by a military regime, which had no respect for due process or rule of law. If I understood what many people have been saying well, the lack of consultation by the Federal Government is the issue. This is a democratic dispensation where a profound decision should have the support of the primary constituency. Your comments on national issues should help the government to take decisions according to democratic tenets, and not the other way. Please, be constructively liberal in your comments and not selfish!