May 30, 2012 – The Edo Consultative Forum (ECF), Lagos branch, on Tuesday commended the Federal Government for re-naming the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in honour of the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
The commendation was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Media and Publicity of the forum, Mr. Matthew Aramide, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that President Goodluck Jonathan in his nationwide broadcast on Tuesday to celebrate Democracy Day renamed UNILAG after Abiola.
The forum noted that the honour was overdue, stressing that the history of Nigeria democracy would not be complete without noting Abiola’s contributions.
“We are celebrating 13 years of uninterrupted civilian rule in Nigeria. Many people have paid the supreme price to ensure we gain and sustained democracy and among whom were M.K.O. Abiola and his wife, Kudirat.
“This honour shows that the labour of our heroes past had never be in vain.
“The honour will also encourage those fighting for the good of Nigeria now to serve with their heart and might, with a view to having a nation bound in freedom, peace and unity,” ECF noted.
The forum, however, urged the government to also honour other Nigerians, whether dead or living, who had contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria and democracy in particular.
It suggested that the special Museum planned by Jonathan for past presidents and heads of state should also accommodate well meaning Nigerians, the likes of Rashidi Yekini and the police officer who died in Kaduna while trying to detonate a Boko Haram bomb.
In another development, the ECF condemned the alleged protest by some UNILAG students against the re-naming of the institution.
It urged the students to redirect their protest to the challenges facing the nation, such as the insecurity perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect, corruption and other ills of the society.
“How would the re-naming of UNILAG after M.K.O. Abiola affect the results and grades of the students? Do they have any other business in the school apart from studies and become responsible people.
“UNILAG is the property of the Federal Government of Nigeria, it can change the name as it pleases any time.
“The students should protest against the killings in the north. They should protest against those mentioned for corruption and not the change in the name of their school,” the forum added.