The Presidency has formally dissociated itself from the proposed change of name of Nigeria to the United African Republic, saying that a lot of people are already accusing the President of something he absolutely has no hand in.
In a strongly worded statement, the Personal Assistant on New Media to the President, Bashir Ahmed, denied that the proposed name change of Nigeria to the United African Republic came from the Presidency.
Bahir Ahmed distancing the President from the proposed name change on Thursday 3rd June 2021, took to his official social media handle to say:
“It’s not the Nigerian government, particularly, Pres Buhari that submitted the change of name proposal, it’s an individual or a group that submitted it. But a large number of people have already taken it to their head, accusing the President of something he absolutely no hand in,” he tweeted.
The United African Republic which is one of the trending topics on the Nigerian tweeter street on Thursday, all started when one Adeleye Jokotoye, a tax consultant, during one of the ongoing 1999 constitutional review hearings in Lagos proposed the new name.
According to Adeleye, he chose the new name for the country, so to reflect the hundreds of ethnic groups that comprise the country.
He wants the name of the country changed as it was an imposition by Nigeria’s past colonial masters.
The name Nigeria was suggested in the late 19th Century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who would later marry the British colonial administrator Lord Frederick Lugard.
It is derived from the River Niger which enters the country from the north-west and flows down to the Niger Delta where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean through its many tributaries.
Nigerians have been reacting to the new name on Twitter and are clearly having fun with it as usual. But all fingers are pointed towards President Muhammedu Buhari and his government.