The House of Representatives Committee on the review of the constitution received a proposal to rename Nigeria to “United Africans Republic (UAR)”.
The proposal for the change of the country’s name was submitted to the committee by Adeleye Jokotoye, a tax consultant in Lagos State on Wednesday.
In his submission, Jokotoye said the name — Nigeria — was not coined by a citizen but given to the country by Flora Shaw, wife of Lord Lugard, a colonialist.
He argued that for the country to be united, its name needs to be changed, adding that it will foster peace among citizens.
“First and foremost, I want to recommend a name change from Nigeria to the United Africans Republic (UAR),” the proposal reads.
“The significance of name change cannot be overemphasised. Even God our father, in the Holy books, changed names of prophets e.g. Saul to Paul, Jacob to Israel, etc. The reason for name change is to physically and psychologically reflect a new beginning.
“Thus, at this crossroads in our history, it is mandatory that we change our name to reflect a new beginning which will be ushered in with a new constitution. The word ‘Africa’ is a Greek word meaning ‘Without Cold’. Africa was originally called ‘Alkebulan’, meaning ‘Mother of Mankind’ (Garden of Eden).
“Alkebulan is the oldest and the only word of indigenous origin used by Moors, Nubians and Ethiopians. So, if we like, we can go a step further and name our nation, United Alkebulan Republic (meaning ‘United Mother of Mankind Republic).”
What Nigerians are saying
Nigerians have since taken to social media to express their opinions concerning the proposal and here’s how everyone is reacting:
Popular social media influencer, Japhet Omojuwa wrote:
“Must have thought United in the name makes the country rich. United African Republic (UAR) like the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States. Lol. Someone spent weeks working on that idea. Probably even got a grant. Lol. I am tired”.
Former Big Brother Naija housemate, Tacha Akide tweeted:
“United African Republic?? Renaming Nigeria is not Nigerians PROBLEM!! Give us GOOD ROADS, SECURITY, ELECTRICITY, HEALTH CARE.. Just give us BASIC AMENITIES”.
@amid_temitayo says there is nothing in a name change.”The propose of renaming d Flag of Nigeria United African Republic will not turn our old wine 2 new wine. It’s obvious that Nigerian lawmakers are comedians, if they don’t debate on how to impeach Buhari. It means they’re not with most nigerians. Nigerians want to be secure in their own country”.
PR specialist, Adegoke Pamilerin tweeted: “So our problem as a country is how to change name from Nigeria to United African Republic. This is the height of madness”.
@iSlimfit: “Renaming the country United African Republic will not change anything. People just want security, light, good roads and a working economy. Is that too much to ask for?”.
@Divineze thinks it is misplaced priorities. “In Nigeria, We asked for police reforms, they changed uniform. We asked for to endsars, they change name.Prison reforms, they change name to correctional facility.Country Dey boil, na to change name be the Koko. United African Republic kor Uranium ni
@firstladyship wrote: “United African Republic (UAR). In their thinking, “United” is the reason the United States of America is progressing? Nigeria have no business with a bicameral legislature. It’s too expensive, waste of scarce resources. The Senate is enough”.
@Real_AdaKing said the problem of Nigeria is not the name but the foundation.”The problem of Nigeria is not the name but the foundation. Changing Nigeria’s name to United African Republic is like when NEPA changed its name to PHCN, still no light. It’s time we stop being Delusional and start facing reality that the only solution to Nigeria is separation”.
African Countries That Changed Their Name After Independence.
Few already-independent African countries have taken a decision to change their names.
The names of most African countries at Independence are a remnant of what their colonial masters gave them from the scramble for Africa by European superpowers for the 17th century.
For this reason, so many countries decided to rename their land to reflect their original identity.
African countries that changed their names after independence include:
- Gold Coast changed to Ghana during independence in 1957.
- Mali changed from French Soudan to Mali after they got independence 1960.
- Belgian Congo changed to Democratic Republic of Congo when they gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
- The British protectorate of Bechuanaland changed to what we know today as Botswana as soon they gained independence from British in 1966.
- French Congo or ‘Moyen Congo’ changed to the Republic of Congo [which is now called Congo Brazzaville] after independence for 1960.
- Mozambique was Portuguese East Africa until it became independent in 1975.
- Portuguese Angola or Portuguese West Africa changed to Angola after independence in 1975.
- The Spanish possessions of Rio Muni and Fernando Po united turned to Equatorial Guinea after independence in 1968.
- Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1968 after independence.
- Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia until their independence in 1980.
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Doris Israel Ijeoma is a Journalist and freelancer. She is a graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism. She writes political stories, entertainment and human Interest