By: Abang Mercy
It was a drama field day Wednesday at the Former University of Lagos (UNILAG) now Moshood Abiola University Lagos (MAUL) as students embarked on a second day of protest against the Federal Government’s decision to rename the instituition after a foremost politician and winner of the June 12 1993 elections.
Early Wednesday, students blocked both sides of the third mainland bridge but security operatives were quick to respond to the situation as anti-riot officers were on ground to disperse the protesting students.
While the protesting students were at it, the Senate of the university directed that all academic activities at the institution be suspended forthwith within 2 weeks.
According to the notice made available in a letter, all students were asked to vacate the halls of residence, latest by 11.00 a.m today, May 30 2012.
The statement also added that the university security have been mandated to ensure compliance adding that the burial arrangement for the vice-chancellor will go as planned.
The order is said to have also been announced by UNILAG FM stating that students have been given till about mid-day to vacate the campus and that the school would be shut down for two weeks.
The order immediately was followed by a strong resistance by the students; authorities of the University of Lagos have rescinded the decision to suspend academic activities in the University.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Rahmon Bello, is quoted as telling protesting students in front of the Senate building that the closure order had been upturned. Students are now returning to their hostels to plan a fresh round of protests scheduled for Thursday, a student in the university told news men.
Hundreds of students had ealier gathered in front of the institution’s Senate building, protesting the suspension of academic activities and vowing not to vacate the campus. Some students even barricaded the university’s main gate, sending back their colleagues who attempted to obey the closure order.
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola often referred to as M. K. O. Abiola, was a Nigerian businessman, publisher, politician and an influential member of the Egba clan. He ran for the presidency in 1993, and won, but remained president-elect till his death in 1998, as he his mandate was annuled by military president Ibrahim Babangida.
President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29th 2012, in a national broadcast to mark his one year in office, said the Federal Government decided to honour late Chief M.K.O, for making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of justice and truth; hence the renaming the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University, Lagos.