WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Well, everything’s in a name. Your name is who you are. It is your identity on earth. Go to US, UK in fact, traverse the whole continent your name comes first and it goes ahead of you to the embassy and everywhere. Most times, your name is first seen before your face. Aristotle said ‘it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting i’t but our present crop of leaders accept any idle dream that come into their brain. The UNILAG name change has generated so much debate such that everyday people keep voicing their anger.
I cross my arms watching endlessly when this charade would end. The school was re-opened with a promise to the student that unilag remains ‘unilag’. Ebele came back from Brazil blowing hot and reiterating the name change to ‘Maulag’. Last i heard, a Lagos Court has restrained or stopped the Federal Government from effecting the name change. I stepped into the University of Lagos for the first time on May 19th, few days before the name change.
I have no strong emotional or personal attachment to the school whatsoever. In fact, i still love the structure and beauty of University of Ibadan more than UNILAG but the name change sure leaves a sore taste in the mouth. I read about the UI VC’s comment when he was asked what he would do if UI was renamed and he said ‘i don’t want UI’s name to be changed. If i have to fast and pray to make it so, i will. I don’t pray that it ever happens.’
I have been constantly vexed by the endless crises of our collective nationhood in recent time such that i don’t give voice to my opinion on general issues any longer [except if it is in an essay contest]. I have been continually peeved by the seeming arrogance of the so called elites, the people at the helm of affair who are daily scattering the legacies of our heroes past. They are leaving no inheritance for the youth. Why on earth would you rename a fifty year old institution that has become a brand? Well, if you ask me I’d say it’s a case of misplaced priority.
Personal aggrandizement has eroded our moral values and cultural orientation. Stubbornness or hotheadedness has given way to irreversible damage and errors and I fear for the future of this country. I have gotten to a stage where I have lost hope in Nigeria. Why? Because you go to bed with bad news and scandals then, a rude awakening to fresh misappropriation and loot which later becomes a mere propaganda, mere beating about the bush. Nigerians seem to have a short memory and so, the episode is forgotten like a television serial until a new soap opera begins. I am amused by the faroukgate saga because it is now a case of the hunter becoming the hunted.
Yet, i know the case would lead to nowhere. Soon, it would be swept under the carpet and we all go about our normal business. This is the new Nigeria that i never dreamt of, the Nigeria that Obafemi Awolowo and Gani Fawehinmi fought for. Nobody is willing to tell us the truth about the menace called ‘boko haram’. We are all groping about in the dark. I don’t know how to end this discourse except to say it is well with Nigeria.