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UNILAG ALUMNI ASSOCIATION COMMUNIQUE OF EXTRA-ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING by Olalemi Adeyemi for Press Club UNILAG

This was presented by Adeyemi Adefulu MFR, Ex-SUG President and adopted by the house

The University of Lagos Alumni Association at its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held at the University of Lagos today 3rd January, 2012, met to consider the issue of the purported change of name of the University of Lagos to M.K.O. Abiola University, by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on the occasion of the Democracy Day to celebrate the 13th anniversary of uninterrupted democratic dispensation in Nigeria on Tuesday 29th May, 2012.

The meeting resolved as follows:

1. That it fully associates with the need to give a befitting national honour for the martyr of Nigerian democracy, the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola,whose historic role and supreme sacrifice played a major role in the restoration of democratic order in Nigeria .

2. That by the surreptitious and arbitrary method the Federal Government adopted, the purported re-naming of the University of Lagos was a dishonour to the memory of a man who died in pursuit of democracy.

3. That by its refusal to consult widely the Government,unfortunately, lost the opportunity of knowing which would have been the best method of honouring the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and unwittingly turned a popular wish into an unfortunatem controversy.

4.The unilateral change of the name of the University of Lagos to MKO Abiola University is unacceptable to our Association for several reasons, inter alia,

a) The announcement is illegal because it is against the letter and spirit of the University of Lagos Act which specifically provides that the name of the university shall be University of Lagos. The Unilag Alumni Association therefore submits that it is only by a proper amendment of the University of Lagos Act that an act of the National Assembly can be amended and not by an arbitrary Presidential act or pronouncement;
b) The announcement was made without consultation with the stakeholders of the University- the Senate, Council, Alumni or the National Assembly etc and was effected arbitrarily and in utter disregard of processes and procedures which are most essential for validation and decision making in a democracy. We submit that secrecy and surprise are the usual tools of military dictatorship and not in a democracy;
c)The hurried, announcement was made in utter disregard of the fact that the university was in deep mourning and in the middle of the funeral rites of its valued Vice Chancellor, the late Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, and was utterly insensitive and showed that the government was totally out of tune with reality;
d) the ill-advised and opportunistic announcement of the scrapping of a popular internationally recognized 50 year old brand was made in utter
disregard of the views and feelings of stake-holders strewn all over the world.

5. The Alumni Association notes with concern the defiant reaction of the Federal Government to the spontaneous objection of students, alumni and the general public when it stated that there was no going back on a patently illegal and insensitive action and notes further that this was most unfortunate and amounts to persisting in error which is totally unacceptable in a democratic dispensation and from a government founded on laws.

6.The Alumni Association challenges Mr. President to exercise an act of statesmanship by reversing this illegal and unpopular decision and to enter into a dialogue with the National Assembly and other stakeholders with a view to finding a more befitting way of honouring the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola.

7.Without prejudice to the desire of the Alumni Association to encourage a peaceful settlement of this matter in the interest of the nation,the Extra- Ordinary General Meeting of the Association hereby mandates the National Executive to seek redress in the court of law and take all legal measures to resist this illegality and ensure that the name of our university remains the University of Lagos.

8.The Alumni Association regrets the fact that the action of the Federal Govt. has unwittingly re-awakened the boycott of classes which it has not experienced for many years. The Association appeals to the University authorities to re-open the institution and we also appeal to the students of University of Lagos to go about their normal duties and to trust that the Alumni Association will consistently pursue this action to its logical conclusion until justice is done.

Other resolutions includes;

9. An appeal to school authority to open the school for academics

10. That students should not go out to protest anymore but should trust the alumni body to the name of the institution.

11. The management should not change any letter head or sign board.

DATED AT LAGOS THE ….3rd…DAY OF …June…2012

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4 comments on “UNILAG ALUMNI ASSOCIATION COMMUNIQUE OF EXTRA-ORDINARY GENERAL MEETING by Olalemi Adeyemi for Press Club UNILAG

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