Students of the University of Lagos have expressed excitement over the interlocutory injunction restraining the Federal Government and the National Assembly from renaming their institution to Moshood Abiola University of Lagos.
In a statement, the President of UNILAG Press Club, Tosin Adesile, said that the students were satisfied with the court ruling that directed that the name of UNILAG should be retained pending the determination of the suit filed by the past students of the institution.
He said, “The student population on receiving the court outcome went on jubilation and gave cheers to the judiciary. Stage one has been won and we students hope the case will favour us at the end of the day. Students will not in any way be happy if Nigerian factor is introduced in this case to favour President Goodluck Jonathan. This is a democratic nation and it is through such process we can have true democracy and thereby show good example to other countries in Africa.”
However, Adesile said that he acknowledged the President’s speech on Sunday concerning the UNILAG renaming where he stated that he strongly believed in the rule of law.
“We hope the rule of law won’t be cut short. President Jonathan will not win this battle. With this ruling, the judiciary has restored our hope. We students are certain that all would be well. There is no going back.”
A Law student, Oladiran Ayodele, said that the latest news was an assurance for students that UNILAG would remain UNILAG forever.
“The court order has proved to be the last hope of the common man and also reminded the Federal Government that we are in a democratic dispensation where the Constitution and the rule of law are supreme.
“For democracy to endure in Nigeria, our leaders must understand that supreme power does not reside in anybody or group or persons. The only supreme power is the ground norm from which all other laws derive their powers and that is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students’ Lagos Axis has condemned the renaming of UNILAG after the late Moshood Abiola by the Federal Government, describing the action as “unpopular and controversial.’’
The group made this known in a statement by its General Secretary, Mr. Salami Oriyomi, on Sunday in Lagos. He said immortalising M.K.O. Abiola was long overdue but due consultation and proceedings should have been followed.
He said, “We do not support its renaming without carrying stakeholders along; we want Abiola adequately immortalised but definitely not in this unpopular and controversial manner.
“We hereby want the Federal Government to enlist Abiola into the league of past presidents of Nigeria and June 12 of every year should be declared public holiday throughout the federation.”