By Lamidi Bamidele
LAGOSâ€”THE Lagos State government, Tuesday, made another giant stride, when it honouredÂ frontline pro-democracy activist, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, with a statue in the Anthony Village garden. The statue is similar to those of Sam Okwaraji, M.K.O. Abiola and Simbiat Abiola.
Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti was, until his death, Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, and President of the Campaign for Democracy, CD, during Nigeriaâ€™s military interregnum in the 1980s and 1990s.
The event was witnessed by the Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola, former Governor of theÂ state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Sarah Sosan, Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and widow of Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Mrs. Abosesede, who cut the tape to commission the Garden.
In his speech at the event, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Raji Fashola, described the Ransome-Kuti family as the Kennedy family of Nigeria, and commended the family for providing the country with great heroes like Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Professor Olikoye Ransome Kuti, Miss Yemisi Kuti, among others who have contributed greatly to its development.
He said: â€œToday, we come here to demonstrate the resolve of our administration to ingrain in our people, especially the youth, that hard work, selfless service to the people and contribution to the development of our nation will never go unrecognized.
No matter how oppressive and intolerant the powers that be were of the views of men of integrity and passion for the uplift of the poor from squalor, poverty and hunger, the day of reward shall definitely come to such patriots either alive or posthumously.â€
Pro-democracy groups were not left out as they were represented by Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, led by Comrade Debo Adeniran; Nigerian students and Beko Rights Klub, BRK.
Founder of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, in his speech, described Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti as a phenomenon, noting that â€œthere is so much that one can say and write about him. He was a hero who said the right things at the right time.â€
Also present at the event were, Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers, Bashorun Doja Adewolu, Dr. Ore Falomo, Otunba Segun Runsewe and Mrs Francisca Emmanuel. Also present were Comrade Ayodele Adewale, Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Dr. Oyinkansola Doherty, Comrade Tunde Oladunjoye, Chairman Ijebu East local Government, among other dignitaries.