A tax consultant in Lagos state, Adeleye Jokotoye, has asked the House of Representatives Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution to rename Nigeria as ‘United African Republic (UAR).
The National Assembly is currently in the process of amending the 1999 Constitution.
According to Jokotoye, 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).”
Jokotoye also proposed changes to the structure of some government agencies in the country.
“The new constitution should also give room for continuous review as and when due, and future referendum if required also want to suggest the following,” he suggested.