By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS – PAN Yoruba socio-political orgnisation, Afenifere, has joined other Nigerians to lament the passing away of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, describing the late human rights crusader as a â€œforemost Yoruba son.â€
In a statement, Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, said the country and indeed Africa and the Black race â€œhave lost an illustrious worshipper at the temple of democracy, an indefatigable gladiator in the arena of the rule of law and a conscientious objector to tyranny and opportunism.
â€œGani demonstrated the unambiguous credentials of a patriot when, with Afenifere leaders, he gave the country forlorn hope in the dark days of military dictatorship. In that era, Gani joined pro-democracy leaders to suffer incarceration, yet he refused to be cowed even when his oppressors resorted to assassinating adversaries.â€
In addition, the group noted that â€œwe cannot forget the landmark cases he pursued, especially his campaign for the entrenchment of the right of the Private Prosecutor, after the government developed cold feet in bringing to book culprits behind the bombing of foremost Nigerian Journalist, Mr. Dele Giwa, one of the Founders of the Newswatch Magazine. He was also in the forefront of the legal struggle to actualise the June 12 mandate of Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola. Gani Fawehinmi also helped to enlarge the frontiers of the current Republic by initiating and winning the case for the registration of more political parties.â€
It, however, hoped that â€œthose ideals he stood for will continue to serve as beacons in our search for a truly egalitarian society, where no man will feel oppressed but attain his highest potentials.
His death has created a vacuum in the polity that will be difficult to fill. We pray that God will console the family and give associates the strength to bear this great loss.â€