By SaharaReporters, New York
President Goodluck Jonathan today rebuffed the mass protests of students of the University of Lagos and its alumni against the renaming of the 50-year old institution, sending a letter to the Senate to ask for his intention to be rubber-stamped.
Apparently enjoying the new sport, he has also asked the Senate to rename two other universities. He wants the Federal University of Technology, Umudike, to be renamed Michael Okpara University, Umudike; and the Federal University of Technology, Yola to become Modibbo Adama University.
The letter to the Senate, which normally has no mind of its own, was read out at the commencement of a plenary session today by its President, Mr. David Mark. The University of Lagos is currently closed due to students’ protests following Jonathan’s abrupt declaration of its renaming on May 29. The two other newly-renamed schools have not reacted to the proposal.
“Jonathan has cheapened the concept of governance by the timid and unimaginative way he has gone about all this,” an analyst said in Abuja today. “He has now decided to broaden his divisiveness by exporting the renaming enterprise to other parts of the country, thereby enhancing the heat without improving the product.”
Another analyst said that if Jonathan was really interested in making a statement for which he will be remembered and respected, he should begin by doing something substantive, such as honouring his promises in the education sector.
“Last year during his campaign in Gusau, he promised to establish a federal university of technology within one year,” he recalled. “If he had worked to accomplish that, it would have opened by now and he could have named it after any animal or plant he pleased, and gained respect for it.”
Similarly, said the analyst, “In Birni Kebbi last year, he promised to ensure the take-off of the Federal University there this year. Where is the Federal University, Kebbi, and why is he not honourable enough to declare it open and name it after anything he likes?
“At the North Central Zone launching of his campaign, he promised to build a university in every state. That would have given him 36 universities with which to play kalo-kalo, instead of insulting the dead and the living with this idle renaming industry. Other people build the institutions, and your work is to come and simply rename, is that self-respect?”