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Gani, our standard in civil society – Nwankwo

…says death no relief to dictators

By Emmanuel Aziken

ABUJA -The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi was a standard to which pioneering members of the civil society movement looked up to at the commencement of the advocacy for civil rights, Mr. Clement Nwankwo co-founder of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has said.

Lauding the roles of Fawehinmi, Nwankwo nevertheless affirmed that his death would not mean a relief to those inclined to dictatorship and the oppression of the people.

While noting that the late legal icon was a voice that energized the struggle against oppression and dictatorship, he said: “Gani was like the standard against which you measured your commitment to the cause or you measured your contribution and I think that we are going to loose that contribution that he brought forward,’’ Nwankwo also the pioneering chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) said.

“I think it is a painful situation, and for a lot of us who worked closely with him it is quite painful that he died at this time. For somebody who symbolized so much, who contributed so much to the struggle against dictatorship, against oppression who symbolized the struggle against everything that is unjust you get the sense that we may have a very strong voice and that is what it is.’’

“He was a tireless, energetic advocate for social change. I think it is  a major vacuum to us in civil society,’’ Mr. Nwankwo who is presently the Executive Director Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) said.

Even with the death of Fawehinmi, Mr. Nwankwo assured that the absence of the civil rights advocate would not mean relief for dictators in the land.

“I would not say that it brings relief to anybody. If you don’t have your constant critic, then off course that source of criticism has reduced but I do think that there are lots of people who will continue to keep an eye on government.


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