By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwan Akiolu, joined other eminent Nigerians who paid a condolence visit to the family of late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite in Victoria Island, yesterday, over the death of the legal luminary.
Other eminent Nigerians who stormed the home of the politician were: founder of Daar Communication Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance and others.
Speaking shortly after having a discussion with the wife of the late lawyer, Grace, Ambode said that the state government will celebrate the icon of the Braithwaite’s family.
According to him, “We are concerned about it. We will like to take deeper part in whatever the family is going to do because this is a great loss to Lagos State.
“This is a great loss of a great man in Lagos State. And we intend to celebrate him in that manner.
Braithwaite’s name’ll never die — GOV
“The name Braithwaite will never die. I believe strongly that any time one is reading any legal matter or any other issue that relate to constitutionalism in Nigeria, his own side of the story will remain indelible.
He also noted while signing the Condolence register, that Lagos State and “It’s good people celebrate the life and times of a great son of Lagos and a fine nationalist.”
Ambode stated that this was why he decided to visit the family and commiserate with them, saying “his death is a major loss not just to Lagos State, but also to Nigeria.
“Whatever it is that we do even as a government or as a party, they are things that always project us. If there is any person that is on the side of the masses or the poor, this is one thing that Dr. Tunji Braithwaite believed in. He preached it; confessed it and fought it during his lifetime.
“Dr. Tunji Braithwaite happened to be on other side of political divide. His message was consistent and constant. He was always thoroughbred. That is why we have come here not only console or say just anything.
“But we must equally point out that everything I am also doing is on the side of the poor and is on the side of the majority, which he believed in; which he stood for during his lifetime.”
We have lost a nationalist — Oba Akiolu
Akiolu who sent a delegation of White Cap chiefs led by Chief Ayodele Oyekan, the Bajulaiye of Lagos, lamented that the death of Dr. Braithwaite came as a rude shock to him, saying “the country has lost a nationalist.”
The oba said that as a father of Lagosians, he was still sad over the death of the legal luminary, noting “He rendered selfless service to humanity. And we will miss him.”
According to him: “We are proud to have him in Lagos. I want to appeal to the family to take heart and keep on with his legacies.
“I know him as a philanthropist. He also contributed a lot to the development of country especially Lagos State.”
We”ll miss his courage, patriotism – Dokpesi
On his part, the founder of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, lamented that the country has lost one of the courageous and patriotic citizen.
His words, “We have lost one of the most courageous, patriotic and loving father of the nation. We will miss all these. He was a man that tells the truth irrespective of the cost. Nigerians with due respect are largely sycophant but Dr. Tunji Braithwaite is not a man who engage in such.
“My first impression when I met him in 1983 in Yola, was that this is a Nigerian who is committed to the peace, unity and progress of the country. He was committed to the wellbeing and progress of the younger generation. He stood against any form of oppression. He is an Icon that needs to be celebrated.”
He was first anti-corruption crusader — DFID
Former South-West regional coordinator of Department for international Development, DFID, Dr. Adeshina Fagbenro-Byron, said that the country has lost a precious gift in Dr. Braithwaite.
His words, “And was the first articulate anti-corruption crusader. And that was why in 1983, he described corrupt officials as cockroaches and mosquitoes. It was pathetic that many Nigerians didn’t understand him.
“And the truth was that these are parasites who feed where they have not sowed. He lived what he preached. And he was a bridge between generations. He was a federalist and de-tribalised Nigerians.
How best to immortalise Braithwaite — CACOL
On how to immortalise the late Presidential Candidate of Nigerian Advanced Party, NAP, Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said “he should be immortalised first, by everyone of us in the manner we redefine democracy to serve the interest of all especially the common man.”
“They (Federal Government) should also name a national monument after him. For instance, the international conference centre in Abuja, can be named after him. This is because Dr. Braithwaite was a man that is full of ideals. This ideals should not be allowed to go down the drain without proper acknowledgement,” he added.