The Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Rahmon Bello, on Tuesday expressed surprise at the Federal Government’s decision to rename the institution as Moshood Abiola University.
Mr. Bello, a professor of Chemical Engineering, made the remark while addressing protesting students of the institution, who took to major streets in the metropolis following the announcement.
President Goodluck Jonathan had in his broadcast to the nation to mark the May 29 Democracy Day and one year of his administration named the university after the late Mr. Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled June 1993 presidential poll.
The president said the gesture was to honour the late politician for his contributions to democracy in the country.
Mr. Bello however said the decision did not go down well with both staff and management of the university because the unions in the institution and the management were not consulted.
He appealed to the students to be calm and embrace peace.
“I want you all to be calm and remain law abiding. I also want to thank you all for the matured way you have gone about the protest.
“I wish to let you know that the news of the change of the name of the university took us by surprise because no consultations were held with us.
“All I want from you now is to go home quietly, go about your normal activities and do not do anything that could lead to the closure of the institution,” Mr. Bello said.
He said the renaming has come at a time when the university community is planning to hold a service of songs in honour of the late Vice Chancellor, Adetokunbo Sofoluwe.
Oyelowo Oyewo, Dean, Faculty of Law in the university, also criticised the renaming of the institution.
“This is the country’s first federal university; there was need for wide consultation before changing its name.
“That a democratic institution in honour of the late Abiola would be established in the university is a welcome development.
“Renaming the university after him, I think it did not go down well,” he said.