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My initial plan was to sit back, observe and probably be amused at the comedy of errors trailing the renaming of UNILAG, but alas the spirits have taken over. I must rant, or be philosophical, or both. I hope I’m not too late with this, moving on!!!
May 29TH was supposed to be ‘Democracy day’ (or so it seems), our dear presido decided to bestow upon us another surprise: “… After careful consideration and in honour of Chief M.K.O Abiola’s accomplishments and heroism, on this Democracy Day, the University of Lagos is renamed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Moshood Abiola University, Lagos…” I heard the news and I refused to believe it, sounded like a huge joke (it still does). I turned the tv on looking for updates about the president’s speech, lo and behold it was true. My reaction was reflex like, next stop twitter!!!
My TL was everything I imagined it to be and even more sef, the countless curses rained on GEJ had been fine tuned I had to cringe at some of them (that dude is very well HATED), as expected there was staunch opposition to the announcement, even the graphic artists had gotten in on the act modifying UNILAG’s logo to er suit the new name (I hail all of una o!), the jokes were flying around: MAULAG MAUL MAU, MALU sef. Next thing we heard lag students were on ‘rampage’, the new name was met with absolute disdain. I’m sure the government wasn’t expecting a reaction like that. Quite honestly neither was I.
Let’s create an analogy here: imagine if Coca cola changed its name to maybe Capri cola or something. Coca Cola is a global brand; the product remains the same but with that name comes power and a reputation that’s been built since 1886. Coke is so popular that even when we want to buy a sprite or any other drink we say “pls give me coke”, that’s the power of a name! As Shakespeare said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. UNILAG like Coca cola is a global brand, its reputation built over a 50 year period (that reputation is still a work in progress). Changing the name of the school has to be one of the one of the dumbest most retarded mistakes ever.
It’s safe to say I’m a UNILAG child, my entire academic life was spent on that campus. From ULWS to UNILAG staff school to ISL and then the university itself. For as long as I remember I always wanted to be a ‘lag’ boy, it was a thing of pride to be affiliated with the school. A lot of people saw things this way, many students without any family or friends in Lagos came just because of that name, nothing else mattered. Even those who travel abroad for further studies, anyone who says he/she went to UNILAG is looked at as a boss (global brand people).
I’m sorry but MAULAG sounds like locally brewed beer and I don’t think the cry of ‘Greatest Moshoodites’ is inspiring enough. No offence to Chief Abiola, he was and is an integral part of our democracy today, a well meaning man who wanted to move our country forward. He gave to worthy causes and was a big part of sports. A man like that deserves to be immortalized a thousand times over, but why ruin the history and heritage of one colossus for another? Why rob peter to pay paul? The conspiracy theorists have already been working nonstop, they say the name change is just a ploy to appeal to the people of the south west with eyes on the 2015 polls. I don’t know how true this is (anything is possible, I mean its naija), what I do know is an institution of UNILAG’s status should not be used to play any funny games. As it is the government has no plan to correct their horrible mistake, instead they’ve sent a bill to the senate which has surprisingly been approved. Whatever happened to the FOI bill?? A classic case of putting the cart before the horse, mr presido decided to ‘follow due process’ after the damage had been done, I swear that bros surrounded himself with rabid dogs and retarded monkeys.
The name change is unnecessary, it’s illegal and it sucks big time, bottom line WE NO WANT!!! There’s a lot more to be said on this issue, it’s so not over and done with. What do you think good people???