BENINâ€”Edo State government and the National Burial Committee of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi will be organizing a lying-in-state for the departed activists and legal icon at Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, tomorrow by 10 am.
Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who disclosed this through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. John Mayaki, said the event would provide opportunity for Edo people to pay their last respect to the man who fought to preserve Nigeria as a just and decent entity with so much passion.
The governor said the story of the restoration of his mandate as governor of Edo State would be incomplete without the support and counsel of Gani.
Oshiomhole said: â€œIn the electioneering, he offered public solidarity and support, which positively contributed to my victory at the polls. As usual, he was on hand to encourage and support the struggle of the people of Edo State to reclaim our stolen mandate.
â€œLate Gani as a lawyer, made pioneering and outstanding contribution to the development of the legal profession, especially through his publications. Chief among these is the Nigeria Weekly Law Reports series, which eased the access of practitioners to legal precedents and decided cases.
â€œHis greatest contribution was as the number one Peopleâ€™s Advocate, who devoted his prodigious legal talents and resources to the pursuit of civil liberties and the constitutional rights of Nigerians.
â€œAcross the country, Chief Fawehinmi established a respectable reputation for challenging authoritarian tolerance, military dictatorship and oppression in general.
â€œThrough his relentless legal activism, he expanded the frontiers of constitutional rights. Gani, as we all fondly call him, singlehandedly secured for Nigerians the right to freely form political parties without the encumbrances of conditional registration.
â€œHe also established the right of private prosecution in his quest for justice regarding the murder of the late Dele Giwa.
â€œGaniâ€™s love for the under-privileged was profound. By instituting a mass coverage scholarship scheme, he empowered many Nigerians through education.
â€œNigeria has lost a foremost fighter for social justice. In the community of activists and patriots, he stood out for his courage, integrity and sustained capacity to make sacrifice. Gani gave all he had to Nigeria and Nigerians.
â€œWhen I served as the President of the NLC, Gani was a trusted confidant and co-strategist in our efforts to confront anti-people policies. During my stewardship, Gani provided free legal services to the NLC in the course of our campaign for public welfare.
â€œHe helped to rescue my colleagues and I from detention spells that became the misfortune of leaders and activists of social movements during the previous administration.
â€œAlthough this is not Nigeria of Ganiâ€™s dream, the country still owes so much to his sacrifices, courage, conviction and strength of character. The modest strides Nigeria has made in its march to constitutional democracy cannot be divorced from Ganiâ€™s activism and the courage with which he confronted oppression.
â€œI have lost a cherished personal friend, a trusted confidant and comrade, an elder brother and a generous benefactor. However, I am consoled by the fact that Nigerians in general, especially the people of Edo State, appreciate the essence of his struggles and we are all beneficiaries of his relentless activism.
â€œOur hearts are with the family of Chief Fawehinmi at this trying period. We pray Allah SWT to comfort the family and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. We also pray Allah to grant his soul eternal repose.â€