Nigerian students take to streets over Lagos university name change


Students at the University of Lagos sit on a bus on the Third Mainland bridge in Lagos to protest the decision to change the name of the institution to Moshood Abiola University.



Hundreds of angry students in the Nigerian city of Lagos have staged a second day of protests against President Goodluck Jonathan after he decided to change the name of their university without consulting them.

Demonstrations began on Tuesday following the president’s sudden announcement on state TV that the University of Lagos was to be renamed as Moshood Abiola University, after a politician who won elections in 1993 but died in prison after the results were annulled by the army, the BBC reports.

The president said the decision was made to celebrate Nigeria’s 13th year since its return to democracy, but the students claim the move is politically motivated and say they should have been consulted first.

More from GlobalPost: Nigeria's silent killer - its energy shortage

On Wednesday up to a thousand people took part in the protests, some wearing student ID cards around their necks, according to the Associated Press. Several protesters commandeered buses to block off a major bridge and other main roads, causing chaos and stranding thousands of commuters.

According to France 24, many of the students have said that the decision to change the university’s name will damage the strong reputation that it has built up in the country and across west Africa since its founding in 1962. The university’s administration has suspended academic activities for two weeks due to the protests.

More from GlobalPost: West Africa struggles against coups