The President of Women Arise and Centre for Change, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, on Wednesday said that the space left by the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, remained largely vacant 10 years after his demise.
Odumakin, in a statement in Lagos, said that the human rights crusader left an indelible mark in the sands of time through the huge sacrifices he made to ensure the survival of Nigeria, especially during the reign of former military dictator, late Sani Abacha.
”And so it is 10 years since the iconoclastic Chief Gani Fawehimi took the eternal journey to the great beyond with his trails still fresh as if he still walked around.
”It is because men like Gani didn’t live to die but died to live because of their lives of sacrificial existence.
“His space remains largely vacant 10 years after the demise because his type doesn’t appear on earth frequently.
“He lived for the society and his memory remains imperishable. He died but still lives; his sense of sacrifice has not been surpassed,” Odumakin said.
She recalled the first time she met with Gani in 1985 in the company of Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti in Lagos.
” He made the first and everlasting impression with his passion for the country and concern for the poor especially.
“His forceful expressions made up for his thin voice as he rallied against the many ills of the society,” Odumakin said.
She said that the first encounter marked the beginning of an association with Gani till he breathed his last.
According to her, Gani was a moral grandeur in the community of conscience as he devoted the best of his life for the cause of the oppressed in the society.
“I recall how he demonstrated extraordinary commitment in one of his last years on earth as he came to a remembrance event for Kudirat Abiola in an hospital ambulance.
” It was a moving sight for a man who would not use his valid ill-health as an excuse from the line of duty.
“It was not a pleasant experience to see Chief living his last days in great pains and suffering in ill-health, coupled with wrong diagnosis by a sick medical care of a dysfunctional country,” Odumakin said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gani died on September 5, 2009, after a long battle with cancer.(NAN)