President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday renamed the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University.
The President said that renaming the University is in appreciation and honour of the contribution of late MKO Abiola the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
“The Federal Government has decided that late Chief MKO Abiola should be honoured. In honour of Chief MKO Abiola, the University of Lagos is renamed the Moshood Abiola University,” Mr Jonathan said.
The 1993 election was declared Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election by national and international observers, with Abiola even winning in his Northern opponent’s home state.
In 1994, Abiola declared himself the lawful president of Nigeria in Lagos. He had recently returned from a trip to win the support of the international community for his mandate. After declaring himself president he was declared wanted and was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of the then Head of States, General Sani Abacha who sent 200 police vehicles to bring him into custody.
Abiola was detained for four years, largely in solitary confinement.
Abiola died under suspicious circumstances shortly after the death of Abacha. He died on the day that he was due to be released, on July 7, 1998.
While the official autoposy state that Abiola died of natural causes, Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, al-Mustapha has alleged that Abiola was in fact beaten to death. al-Mustapha, who is still being detained by the Nigerian government, claims to have video and audiotapes showing how Abiola was beaten to death.
Mr Jonathan disclosed this during a nationwide broadcast to mark this years’ democracy day celebration.