Students of the then University of Lagos (UNILAG) woke up this morning to find out that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his characteristic unassuming and unequivocal manner had rechristened their school!
When I heard the ‘great’ news today, I quickly remembered the ‘magnificient gift’ handed Nigerians on the first day of 2012, unilaterally by President Jonathan and instantly I saw a pattern.
Being another one year of savoring the fruits of our nascent democracy( fruits which have bizarrely been elusive for the past 13 years) today being 29 May, 2012, was declared another public holiday, just like years before.
Hence, in accordance with the norm of ‘pleasantly surprising’ Nigerians on very special days (You might forget your wedding anniversary but I bet by St. Ossyth’s tooth, you can’t forget January 1, 2012 ) President Goodluck Jonathan during his Democracy Day broadcast unveiled new changes in the country, part of which is the renaming of the University of Lagos after late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Succinctly put, UNILAG is now MAU (Moshood Abiola University ), I even googled it and the search result showed ‘Moshood Abiola University, formerly University of Lagos’.
However, students of the school do not see this ‘glorious rebranding’ from President G.E.J’s perspective. They were seen on the streets only minutes after the announcement, bearing placards and chanting anti-government slogans.
The way I see it, I reckon these students do not really have anything against MKO because he is undoubtedly one of our greatest political icons, but are only hassled by the re-adjustments the new name portends.
I envisage a scenario in which a student of MAU tries to introduce him/herself. He or she will go like “ I am a Moshoodist/ Moshoodite ( whichever they decide to adopt at the end of the whole brouhaha). Still trying to find the panache in any of the two names.
Moving on, Unilag FM, will also metamorphose into MFM. I wonder how the OAPs over there will take the news. I sincerely hope it doesn’t lead to some patent battle between the radio station and the very popular ‘fire brand’ church bearing the same initials.
I will personally suggest (I strongly advise they consider my suggestion because I left my Gremlins at home today) that all students of MAU reach a consensus and accept ‘Abiola Babes’ for a collective name. (No cogent reason for the name though, aside the fact that it makes me chuckle and it carries a lot of ‘swag’).
Until we get the next humongous surprise from our amiable number one man again, I say adios!