MKO and the last flight to Johannesburg

Dear Mr Nduka,

With reference to your back page article on sunday 3rd of June Thisday Newspaper, I find a couple of your assertions filled with cascades of half truth. You cited a couple of instances with false premises to drive home your point, concealing vital information from your readers either deliberately or due to poor research.

Cornell University was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell . It was was named on inception after its founder and benefactor. Cornell University was never RENAMED.

In the case of Johns Hopkins University. On his death in 1873 , John Hopkins bequeathed $7 million ( between $140 million to $1.6 billion in 2011 dollars) to fund a hospital and a University in Baltimore,Maryland. Johns Hopkins University was founded on January 22, 1876 named for its benefactor the philanthropist Johns Hopkins. It was named on inception of the University. John Hopkins University was never RENAMED.

These two colleges you cited can never be compared to the University of Lagos scenario because they were named on inception.

Furthermore, Harvard University was founded in 1636, initially called New College. The institution was renamed Harvard after John Harvard a young clergy man in 1639. I would love you to note that the New College brand only lasted 3 years before the change not 50 years as in the case of University of Lagos, hence once again you cited another false premise.

Columbia University was founded by the Church of England in 1754 as Kings College. After America's independence from Great Britain in 1784 the name was changed to Columbia College. The change was necessary because a myriad of colleges had the name Kings College so to distinguish it self the change was important. Furthermore, the change from Kings College to Columbia College was also a sign of its liberation from King George II of Great Britain who gave the school its Royal Charter. Further more the institution was shut down during the American revolution for 8 years from 1776-1784 hence there was never a 30 year scholarship as you said. Kings college didn't have a 30 year old brand it was far less, University of Lagos has a 50 year brand in the internet age.

Princeton University was not named after an individual. It was founded in 1746 in Elizabeth, New Jersey as College of New Jersey, the University moved to Princeton province in 1756 (10 years after) and was renamed Princeton University.

Finally, in the case of Duke University whose initial name was Trinity College. William Preston Few, the President of Trinity College at the time, insisted that the institution be renamed Duke University to honor the Duke family's generosity and to distinguish it from a myriad of other Colleges carrying the 'Trinity ' name. It was not the president of the United States of America that effected the change but a collective decision by the senate of the College.

Sir once again retrace your footsteps and understand that no meaningful country in this internet age would change the name of a 50 year old international brand.

With due respect to MKO, I am sure if he was alive he would object to the destruction of a 50 year old brand and demand for other avenues where he could be 'immortalised' effectively.


Omeihe Michael
University of Lagos Alumni

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