5th June, 2012
President Goodluck Jonathan was on Tuesday chided by former Head of State and Chairman of Nigeria Prays, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd) over his failure to consult with stakeholders before the controversial name change of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Jonathan has been receiving flaks from prominent Nigeria for renaming UNILAG after the late Chief Moshood Abiola who was widely acclaimed as winner of the 1993 presidential election.
Gowon, who made the observation in Benin City on Tuesday during a courtesy call on Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, said it would have been better if he had consulted with the alumni of the university.
“University of Ife was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University; now that University of Lagos is now changed to Moshood Abiola University. It would have been better for President Goodluck Jonathan to have consulted with old students of the university before renaming it to Abiola University.
“I honestly do not want to comment on that one. I am sure that anyone who has gone to UNILAG, ask them how they feel about the change and I know that a lot of students who went to University of Ife, when it was changed to Awolowo University, if you asked them if they wanted the name changed to Obafemi Awolowo University, they will say no. So, that is the feeling.
“I think probably all the people who are involved in making that decision should have consulted all those people before making that decision. It is very important,” said Gowon.
While commending the developmental strides of Oshiomhole, he said the governor has considerably impacted on infrastructural development in the state capital and other parts of the state.
Even though he would not want to be dragged into Edo politics, Gen Gowon said it was left to the residents and people of the state to decide, based on what they see on ground, who they will vote for in the 14 July governorship election.
In a tacit endorsement of Oshiomhole, Gowon likened the governor to former two-time state governor, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, saying they are both action governors.
On his expectations during the governorship election in Edo State, Gowon said the will of the people will decide who emerges winner.
“I hope that you people will decide. But from what we have seen it would be good enough for you people to decide to say yes (Oshiomhole). He is an action man and an action governor that you can trust him with more years of good work for the people of the state,” added Gowon.
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin City