Much Ado About A Name

By Chinemelu Nwokike

The controversy over GEJ's decision to rename UNLAG after MKO Abiola will continue to rage on years after the deed was done.

I have never really liked Jonathan, I also campaigned against him and did not vote for him. I make no apologies for this because I am convinced he does not have the capacity to put Nigeria in the right course. However let us try to objectively analyse the issue at hand.

Now there is nothing wrong in renaming an institution to immortalise MKO Abiola, as a matter of fact it is a worthy act.

Abiola deserves to be honoured by the Federal Government and much more. It is even long overdue for Abiola till date remains a colossus. He was the most successful businessman of his time and the biggest philanthropist ever to come out of Africa. He donated freely to universities and built hostels, libraries and schools in different parts of the nation. He was indeed a good example of a detribalised Nigerian. In what remains our freest and fairest election till date, he won a landslide victory cutting across various ethnicities even though he contested on a muslim/muslim ticket. He was courageous enough to defend his mandate even against the intimidating enemies of democracy and for this reason he paid the ultimate price and so also did his wife. What more can one ask of a hero?

Let us recall that many Nigerians especially those from the southwest have been calling for Abiola to be immortalised. In fact ACN controlled states actually celebrate June 12th rather than May 29th as democracy day. So one is petrified at the amount of negative reactions this supposedly worthy act is generating across the nation bringing us to the question why all the criticisms. Why is this particular gesture receiving more knocks than kudos.

Many question the propriety of using an institution of such stature as UNILAG. Whereas others suggest the name change should have been done with the consent of the University community. Not a few have also argued that a monument in the federal capital would have been more appropriate as Abiola is regarded by many as the symbol of our democratic struggle, yet many have condemned it as a political move calculated to cajole the south west and so the argument goes on and on...

Firstly if majority of us agree that Abiola is our beacon of democracy then I think it will be right to say that no institution governmental or educational is too big to be named after him. It will therefore be right to say that UNILAG should consider itself lucky to bear the name of our national hero of democracy as institutions of equal stature such as ABU formerly University of Northern Nigeria and OAU formerly University of Ife were both renamed after what one can rightly describe as regional heroes. Those who argue that it is unimaginable for America to rename institutions like Havard etc to me are completely ignorant as the school initially called new college was renamed after John Havard after he donated his library to the school. John Havard himself was English!

There is no doubt that the decision to change the name of the University of Lagos was not GEJ's sole decision, it would have been taken after deliberation by the Federal Executive Council. It is equally indisputable that the federal govt which wholly owns and funds the institution can decide to change the name as it pleases. Yet again there is no proof that govt did not consult the authorities of UNILAG before taking its decision as there is no statement emanating from the school authorities stating so, rather what we hear is that students are protesting. Granted that as stake holders it is their basic right to protest if not for anything but to let govt think thoroughly before making such decisions in future, but definitely not to consult them before taking executive decisions such as this. Pray how does a name change affect the standard of education in the school? Someone should tell these students to go and read the constitution!

Those who posit that naming a national monument in Abuja would have been better or making June 12th our democracy day appear to be the most practical here. However bearing in mind that OBJ, a south westerner blatantly refused to name as little as an alley after Abiola it becomes more commendable that GEJ was courageous enough to do so albeit inadequately. So to this school of thought I will say "half bread is better than none" because we have come to expect none from this lame administration. Maybe next year he may summon more courage to name something in Abuja and then go on to make June 12th our democracy day before we finally send him back to Otuoke in 2015. And to those who condemn this move as a cheap political gambit to woo the south west, well all I have to tell Jona is "guy you failed woefully" the Yorubas remain the foremost elites in our country, and cajoling them will obviously take more than this so maybe you should try other ways such as telling Aunty Peshe to move with Keke Napep on her next visit to Lagos so as to save Lagosians the pains of the gridlock suffered on her last visit.

Finally this should go a long way to show the president's handlers the declining popularity of this administration and maybe prevail on govt to abort its planned hike in electricity tariff tomorrow. It is not late to shelve that plan. Two protests against govt policies within 5 months is not a good sign. To be fore warned is to be fore armed!

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the snoopy dogs and baboons are back with tinubu

Did Nwosu officially declare abiola as the winner of the June 12 election before Nzeribe went to court? So GEJ is now the official umpire for INEC? See how your minds works..I have said it on a number of occasions that even if Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohamed comes down from heaven to work with d president, these same regionalist who insulted abiola from head to toe because he joined NPN instead of UPN will still be here abusing him becaue of his ijawness. Now they claim eagle square would have been better or built a new university and named it after Abiola. May be because a new university was erected for Awo. The crisis over MAU is not because GEJ is not sincere-cause the same thing was said of him when he named liberty stadium after Awo..they said it was for political reasons..Abiola bookshop 4 students in yaba nko? Donated over 22 million to 22 univeristies. Hired students from MAU to work in concord--awarded scholarships what else..Rev Harvard taught mathematcs in Harvard.

GEJ renamed that school not

GEJ renamed that school not because he wanted to recognise the sacrifice that Abiola made for Nigeria. No! This is clear even in his speech as he referred to Abiola as the "presumed" winner of the election. We all know Abiola won it, not that he was presumed to have won it. Gej also did not see it fit to send a bill to the NASS or inform the university's authorities of his decision. He acted not unlike the military Heads of State who issued decrees and expected them to hold without question.
I see you made reference to John Havard. John Harvard is said to have donated a library to Harvard Uni. Mko Abiola is not known to have done anything of such for or to the University of Lagos. I do not intend to belittle his contributions to Nigeria's democratic status, but that's all they were : contributions to the NATION's democracy. Not to educational development.

much ado abt a name

1st of all d writer obviously did not attend The University of Lagos, so talk all u want; 2nd you rightly spoke of John havard donating his personal library 2 d present Havard univ. Nw wit due respect MKO was not known in d academic world he was more of sports and politics so why d name of an academic institution, 3rd MKO had lil or notin 2 do wit the university of Lagos and so quite frankly it's absurd to name d univ. after him we keep putting square pegs in round holes. Unilag is not a symbol of democracy and so why not name a symbol of democracy after him. And finally on d fact dat students of unilag shld be proud 2 hav dat as d name of dere schl I humbly refer you to UNN who rejected the name of Nnamdi Azikwe replacing UNN. I'm sorry 2 say but I do not buy into ur arguments @ all

drunken sailor fisher man celeberates abiola 4 africa

Bakare, tinubu and the socalled SNG should stop behaving like Diotrephe in the Bible who loved to stop others from celebrating the joy of others.John talked about him: thus ( And not content with using malicious words againt us and refusing to receive the brethren, yet FORBIDS those who wish to (celebrate MAU-with d ABIOLAS)by wanting to murder them..This time forcing area boys and agberos out on the streets of Lagus to protest in a favour of a name (Lagus meaning lake) handed down 2 our ancestors by d colonialist from Portugal. See, Diotrephes like SNG, Buhari, and Tinubu, are opponent of authority. They want only one thing--regime change or the murder of Jonathan on the throne by the army. That was why John denounced our Diotrephes. Warning them that: He who does evil has not seen God..those who praise the arm that poured the poison into the tea of abiola and went on to murder his wife, are the ones saying no to MAU. They are the callous 9jas who want MAU and GEJ dead!

GEJ was AN OGOGORO DRINKER UNTIL HE HONORED ABIOLA

Bakare, tinubu and the socalled SNG should stop behaving like Diotrephe in the Bible who loved to stop others from celebrating the joy of others.John talked about him: thus ( And not content with using malicious words againt us and refusing to receive the brethren, yet FORBIDS those who wish to (celebrate MAU-with d ABIOLAS)by wanting to murder them..This time forcing area boys and agberos out on the streets of Lagus to protest in a favour of a name (Lagus meaning lake) handed down 2 our ancestors by d colonialist from Portugal. See, Diotrephes like SNG, Buhari, and Tinubu, are opponent of authority. They want only one thing--regime change or the murder of Jonathan on the throne by the army. That was why John denounced our Diotrephes. Warning them that: He who does evil has not seen God..those who praise the arm that poured the poison into the tea of abiola and went on to murder his wife, are the ones saying no to MAU. They are the callous 9jas who want MAU and GEJ dead!

they want to kill abiola again ooooh--no going back on MAU

Bakare, tinubu and the socalled SNG should stop behaving like Diotrephe in the Bible who loved to stop others from celebrating the joy of others.John talked about him: thus ( And not content with using malicious words againt us and refusing to receive the brethren, yet FORBIDS those who wish to (celebrate MAU-with d ABIOLAS)by wanting to murder them..This time forcing area boys and agberos out on the streets of Lagus to protest in a favour of a name (Lagus meaning lake) handed down 2 our ancestors by d colonialist from Portugal. See, Diotrephes like SNG, Buhari, and Tinubu, are opponent of authority. They want only one thing--regime change or the murder of Jonathan on the throne by the army. That was why John denounced our Diotrephes. Warning them that: He who does evil has not seen God..those who praise the arm that poured the poison into the tea of abiola and went on to murder his wife, are the ones saying no to MAU. They are the callous 9jas who want MAU and GEJ dead!

Ask SNG and bakare to stop behaving like Diotrephes

Bakare, tinubu and the socalled SNG should stop behaving like Diotrephe in the Bible who loved to stop others from celebrating the joy of others.John talked about him: thus ( And not content with using malicious words againt us and refusing to receive the brethren, yet FORBIDS those who wish to (celebrate MAU-with d ABIOLAS)by wanting to murder them..This time forcing area boys and agberos out on the streets of Lagus to protest in a favour of a name (Lagus meaning lake) handed down 2 our ancestors by d colonialist from Portugal. See, Diotrephes like SNG, Buhari, and Tinubu, are opponent of authority. They want only one thing--regime change or the murder of Jonathan on the throne by the army. That was why John denounced our Diotrephes. Warning them that: He who does evil has not seen God..those who praise the arm that poured the poison into the tea of abiola and went on to murder his wife, are the ones saying no to MAU. They are the callous 9jas who want MAU and GEJ dead!

its not about voting for GEJ its about honor 4 abiola-hail MAU

Apostle Paul writes: Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block on an occasion such as the day GEJ, honored Abiola with MAU! For the Bible also warns: He who loves his brother MKO from the West, shld abide in the fight to restore the lost glory of this great 9ja-attempts to appreciate the sacrifice of the late chief aboila whose wife kudirat, was murdered along with him, should not be Yorubanized;..u kill abiola then go after his wife..yet those who claim MAU is a global institution meant not only 4 yorubas, but the entire ppl of 9ja and the african continent, now want such a unique institution be named after buhari abi? Cause they want to preserve the name (lagos) which was gifted to us by the portugeeees! Although SNG, OCCUPY 9JA, Buhari, Tinubu and bakare are still in a state of shock, for GEJ pulling the rug under their rotten regional feets, its time dey are told to stop behaving like Diotrephes in the Bible. Cheers

University of Ibadan is now Aremu Obasanjo University! (2)

Harvard University is what it is today, a well-endowed university, with an endowment of over US$32 BILLION, owing to the financial contributions and donations made by the alumni.

I have stated elsewhere that I will not make further comments on this matter. Nigerians are a very ignorant lot. So ignorant yet everyone in his or her little hell-hole, talks and writes as if he or she is the embodiment of wisdom and knowledge. They have a President whose daily pronouncements jars the intellect like sulphuric acid assaults the nostrils, and when he spews trashy policy decisions most of them applaud him. It takes years to build INTERNATIONAL IMAGE AND REPUTATION. Our WOLE SOYINKA implied this in his press release. In Nigeria, it only takes one ignorant leader to open his mouth and trash that image. That is what Ebele has done to the University of Lagos. Next in his assault is the University of Ibadan. Pity!

University of Ibadan is now Aremu Obasanjo University! (1)

The ignorant Mr. Nwokike states that there is nothing in a name!! Henceforth, Nigeria's oldest university, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IBADAN, is now OLUSEGUN MATHEW AREMU OKIKIOLA OBASANJO UNIVERSITY. How about that? That is the next announcement Nigerians will wake up to hear from Ebele.

So re-naming HARVARD UNIVERSITY after less than THREE YEARS as NEW COLLEGE to immortalize Rev. John Harvard who gave away half his entire state to the university is the same as changing the name of a university after 50 years? Who is ignorant here, Mr. Nwokike or the students, teachers and alumni of the university? These lilliputian thinkers and half-baked writers believe a university's stakeholders are only the students. What about the alumni, over 100,000 of them, since 1964? So they do not matter or have a stake in the management and administration of the university?

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The decision of Mr president should be respected

If the argument and protest is that Unilag is too small not be named after Abiola it would have been quite understandable. But several argument flying over ranging from, unilag is a brand name, as if Abiola's name is a bad market, due process was not followed as if to say that due process was followed in 2003 when SW supported OBJ to clinch presidency.The most stupid among them is that GEJ wants to use it to woo SW.GEJ don't need to do that to woo SW he only need to woo Tinubu and fly him to Aso rock, that ends it.There are people I believe should be honoured along side with Abiola, that they were lucky to be alive should not denied them such honour. People like Chief Ebitu Ukiwe, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Adm Ndubuisi Kanu etc these and others are men that fought on behalf of Abiola when he was in prison and continue to fight till Abacha died.

on Unilag i stand

To those who say what's in a name!? No wonder we leave our life as if we don't care, cos we do not like a good name! Unilag 4 me is a band and not a name! But let me even leave that Abiola did not fight 4 the yoruba race alone or 4 lagos! If we think he so deserved to be Honoured then pls let's name our national Assembly after Abiola after all that's the symbol of Democracy !
Then also pls let's beg our president to stop acting like a General cos he is not one! I pause to say that "fools tread on where Angels fear to tread" my Uncle jona should leave. Nigerian politics alone! Cos it will swallow him if he is not careful. OBJ did not immorrtalise his own! Its him that wants to score point orr has suddenly under stood the intrigues of this nation more than theothers! He that has an ear let him hear

Ib

Cliche but....... SPOT ON

My thoughts exactly... really why the whole outcry... It IS a political move, of course that's obvious, but so long as there's nothing wrong with it, what's the fuss about?

beautiful analysis,much ado

beautiful analysis,much ado about a name,the major issue should be the quality of education and policies of the administration that is obviously anti people and the endemic corruption that is tearing the country apart

THE CHALLEGE...

GEJ this a challenge for you when i say challege, i mean to say questions to be answered, difficulties to be found, problems to be solved and situation to be analyzed.