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Braithwaite always put govt on its toes, says Soyinka


Prof. Wole Soyinka  (left); Prof. Wale Omole and Bishop of Lagos Anglican Communion, Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo during a condolence visit to the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite’s family                    PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Prof. Wole Soyinka  (left); Prof. Wale Omole and Bishop of Lagos Anglican Communion, Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo during a condolence visit to the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite’s family PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

• Aregbesola, IG, Opadokun, Adebanjo pay tributes
More Nigerians yesterday showered encomium on the virtue of the late legal luminary and founder National Advance Party (NAP), Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, describing him as someone who committed a class suicide by living for the masses despite his rich background.

According to Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the demise of the foremost lawyer, political and human rights activist, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, is a huge loss to the nation.

The governor in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the death of the elder statesman had further depleted the rank of Nigeria’s committed fighters for just society.
The Governor said the late legal luminary was a patriot and die-in-the-wool believer of Nigeria and did everything to make sure the political ship of the nation gets back on the right track.

Also Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who was among the callers to the late legal icon residence at Teslim Elias Street Victoria Island yesterday said unlike others who called Braithwaite an elder statesman, “The word elder statesman means he was retired but I will refer to him as a counter statesman who always put government on its toes.”

Telling the story behind the unique dressing of Dr. Braithwaite, his designer, Mrs. Shade Thomas Fad said, “over 35 years ago, he asked us to design a particular style of outfit that would identify or associate him with the masses. That was how we came about the Aso Oke and the style he used to wear until his exit.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who also represented the Inspector General of Police, said Dr. Braithwaite actually lived his life for the people and for the development of the country.

For the Convener, Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform (CODER), Ayo Opadokun, and Braithwaite represented most likely the vanishing end of the true fighters of the liberty of the masses.

According to him, “Like many of his types, he was an intellectual. He was not one of those who will speak against government policy in the day and go back to prostrate in the night.
Former Chief of Army Staff and Minister for Agriculture, Gen. Alani Akinriande and Chief Amos Akingba simply said he was a mentor everybody will miss.

Leaders of Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chiefs Olaniwun Ajayi and Ayo Adebanjo have reiterated the need for Nigeria to reconstruct to true federalism, a principle, ideology and political struggle late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite stood and fought for till he passed on.

Speaking during a condolence visit, Chief Ajayi said truly he shared the same political ideology with him on true federalism and restructuring “that he was never a member of Afenifere means nothing. Ajayi said the best thing is for all of us to insist that Nigeria must be restructured to true federalism.

Adebanjo said a consistent, principled and patriotic man has depart this world “people like him are rare. We will miss him. He was particularly chosen. He is one politician that believed in the unity and re-structuring of Nigeria to have a truly federal constitution.”

Professor of International Law And Jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode said the founder of NAP was an exemplary patriot who despite his noble birth decided to commit class suicide by committing his life to the common people. He was determined to see a Nigeria free of corruption as he yawned for a better nation, which unfortunate he was unable to get until his death.

Similarly, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo of Department of Sociology University of Lagos said Nigeria and indeed the whole world would miss him.

Also, the President of the rights groups, Women Arise for Change Initiative and the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin said he was a great revolutionist and the life wire of Human Rights.

The deceased daughter, Omowunmi said one of the things that inspired him about his late father was his cordial relationship with the media “most of whom he usually referred to as my son/daughter anytime he was with them.

For the Group Managing Director, Japol Plc., Mr. Jegede Paul, “Papa was a great man who played politics for the interest of the people and not for personal gain.

Representing the Anglican Communion, the Arch Bishop of Province 1, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Bayo Akinde, Rt. Revs. James Odedeji, Nwosu Nkechi and others commended the commitment of Dr. Braithwaite and his unflinching love for truth.

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