The Senate of the University of Lagos on Monday broke its silence on the controversial name change of the institution, saying it rejected the gesture.
The Senate also resolved that students of the institution would resume for academic activities next Monday after two weeks of forced closure.
“The university Senate also resolved that the proposed re-naming of the University of Lagos is not acceptable and is rejected in its entirety as it is a mere declaration of intention with no legal effect.
“The University of Lagos Senate supports all legal processes being carried out by all stakeholders on the subject,” it stated.
This was contained in a release issued by the university after the emergency meeting of the Senate convened on Monday to review the suspension of academic activities.
The university was shut after students went on the rampage to protest the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to rename the institution after the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief Moshood Abiola on May 29.
The students, workers’ unions including the Academic Staff Union of Universities of the university and the alumni association had opposed the proposed name change to Moshood Abiola University of Lagos.
Disturbed by the protest which saw the protesters blocking the Third Mainland Bridge, the university authorities closed down the institution for two weeks.
A statement issued by the university after the meeting added that all halls of residence would be re-opened on June 17.
Responding to the decision, the President, UNILAG Press Club, Mr. Tosin Adesile, urged students to return to the campus as directed by the Senate.
Adesile, in a chat with one of our correspondents, said that they should not continue the protest after resumption as the alumni was capable of resolving the crisis.
Meanwhile the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the country, Chief Folake Solanke, has said the name and status of UNILAG are internationally recognised and should not be toyed with.
Solanke stated this during the swearing-in of officials of the Zonta Club of Ibadan II, at Cafe Chrysalis, Bodija, Ibadan on Sunday.
According to her, the decision to change the name of the 50year-old university is wrong and unwarranted. She said, “Universities all over the world are well respected and well reputed. They should not be treated like just any company or institution. The university is a place of honour and respect in any society.
“Many of our universities were not listed as being recognised internationally but the university of Lagos was recognised. How do you wake up and decide to change such a brand?
“I cannot comprehend how that name could be changed just by saying so when the university was established by an act of parliament. But apart for being a statutory name, you don’t just treat a university like that.”
She explained that President Goodluck Jonathan should have met with the stakeholders (the council, students and the lecturers) before seeking approval from the National Assembly.
She added, “Another thing that is sore and disturbing was that the announcement was made when the university was mourning the late vice- chancellor. I cannot phantom anything good in this.”
Solanke suggested that government should have considered naming any of the new federal universities or the national stadium in Abuja after late Moshood Abiola.
In her speech on the occasion, the President, Zonta Club of Ibadan II, Mrs Omolara Smith, charged members with the words of John Wesley, who said, “Do all the good you can, by all means you can.”