The University of Lagos Alumni Association has joined the National Assembly in the suit filed against the Federal Government for renaming the university the Moshood Abiola University.
The decision was taken after its extra-ordinary general meeting penultimate Sunday.
The association had filed a suit seeking to restrain the Federal Government from renaming UNILAG at the Federal High Court, Lagos, last week.
The association, which claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan erred in renaming the 50-year-old institution without following due process, explained that the university was established by an Act of Parliament and could therefore not be unilaterally renamed by the President.
The body also said there was no provision for a name change in the Act that established the university.
But in a response to this observation, Jonathan sent a bill to the National Assembly last Wednesday asking its members to okay the name change. The bill passed through the first and second reading at the Senate on Thursday.
Speaking on behalf of the alumni in Lagos on Sunday, Mr. Femi Oladimeji said the association decided to join the National Assembly in the suit in view of the development in the last one week.
Oladimeji, who is a member of the alumni executive council, said the association would also write every member of the National Assembly for support against government’s decision to rename the university.
To obtain the 50,000 signatures required by the National Assembly in case of the need for a referendum on the issue, the alumni association urged its members to immediately sign in on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan had on May 29 renamed UNILAG after the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Chief MKO Abiola.
But the President’s decision was widely criticised by the alumni association, the university students and other Nigerians, who accused him of trying to rob UNILAG to pay Abiola.
While the consensus of opinion pointed to the need to honour Abiola, the President’s critics claimed that UNILAG, as a well-established brand, should not be renamed after an individual to score cheap political points.