Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information on Wednesday said former President Goodluck Jonathan reduced the late MKO Abiola to an ethnic champion by renaming the University of Lagos (UNILAG) which is located in the South- West after him.
Speaking in a chat, Momoh who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for renaming the National Stadium, Abuja after Abiola said former President Olusegun Obasanjo was begged to name the stadium after Abiola when it was built in 2003 but he refused.
He said “I congratulate Nigerians and all of us who have always believed that Abiola was entitled to be remembered and renaming the National Stadium Abuja after him as Moshood Abiola National Stadium is a befitting monument to his memory. The stadium was built during the tenure of Obasanjo in 2003”.
“There was appeal by Nigerians to Obasanjo to name the stadium after MKO Abiola, but he refused to do it for reasons best known to him”.
“Jonathan on his part had an opportunity to name a monument after Abiola and he did by changing the name of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). By doing this, he was localising the status of Abiola and in a way, ethnicising it. UNILAG is located in the South-West which is populated by the Yoruba which is Abiola’s tribe”.
“So, it was inevitable that renaming UNILAG after Abiola will be interpreted as portraying Abiola as an ethnic champion, when as a matter of fact; Abiola won a national or presidential election in which all Nigerians voted. He even defeated Bashir Tofa his opponent in his polling booth” he said.